Reflections on a Hand Mirror

My latest project stalled out because of the Holidays.


It started with a funky ping pong paddle. What does a ping pong paddle look like? How can you improve on the bathing beauties presently enhancing it? What do you do with an ugly purple, wood and plastic, piece of junk?

I picked up a packing tape transfer (I made several after reading about the project on another blog by a friend). I looked at the old mirror I have hanging in my studio. The two items gave me an idea.

I started arranging, rearranging, gluing, and painting. Then came the spackle (because I couldn’t think of a better medium). I’m glad I used the spackle: it allowed for just enough flexibility to do what I envisioned. Add some extra touches, paint a little more – and it is finished!


The back side was meant to resemble the back side of a vintage hand mirror. The handle is a faux wood.


Pressing the “jewels” into the spackle was a last-minute touch.

The idea is that it has a look of benign beauty, perhaps a treasured addition to a woman’s toiletry in some bygone era. handed down to her daughter’s daughter’s daughter.


Turn it over, and it is the mirror side, embellished and painted.

It is not meant to hang on a wall, but to be handled like a hand mirror, and left on a bureau.

But the reflection is not of the viewer – it is a story.


That is the mirror I was trying to capture the look of, behind the “hand mirror”.


The mirror has been taken care of, but the women in the painting had to learn to take care of themselves.


There is a 3-D illusion to the mirror, as if you are looking into a reflection.

Who are the women? Why the own cut in half? What pain have they overcome? What battle are they struggling with? How have they overcome?

I don’t want to write the story so much as to provoke questions.

My thought process when creating this was along the lines of deep suffering, perhaps spousal abuse (physical, verbal). Hurts that pushed these two women into the same place, the same reflection, with the same theme of wisdom (the owl).

What do you think when you look at it? Does it tell you a story?