Artwork / 2007 / Me Bag

painted portrait of an artist on a canvas patchwork bag
Gwenn Seemel
Me Bag
acrylic on a canvas patchwork bag
13 x 13 inches

Before this bag, I wasn’t a fan of purses. Tomboy that I was, I resisted leaving the house with anything more than a wallet in my pocket. Eventually though, I caved and acquired a simple cloth bag for those days when I had more to carry. The tote being made of canvas, it was only a matter of time before I put paint on it.

And once I got started on this theme, there was no stopping me. I realized that part of my hostility towards purses stemmed from the way that fashion houses dictate what we carry. I hated that people were willing to put themselves on wait lists and to pay through the nose in order to accessorize in precisely the same way as everyone else. I wanted to put an end to the It bag, with its too-short season, its unjustifiable luxury price, and its trendy designers. I set about swapping out the It for a You and giving everyone’s purse a facelift. That is how my You Bags were born!

I’ve since painted friends, couples, pets, and other pretties. But each bag brings me back to the beginning: to the desire to make a functional, everyday item special.