I’ve been challenging myself to do a weekly painting and this week decided to do a portrait of my Mom. Mom at the Point is inspired from a photo taken by my boyfriend at the time during our family vacation at St. Simon’s Island years ago. I’ve always loved this photo because it captured a side of my Mom that I loved. She took pride in her skill at canoeing which she had learned as a Campfire girl. She had been a tomboy growing up and it showed whenever we were out in nature.
In this picture she was about the age I am now, she let her hair turn grey; she was never vain or overly obsessed with her looks. In that way she was a good role model for her daughters. Mom grew up in Staten Island, New York and compared to my friends’ moms, she didn’t have a lot of the fears or dependence that the southern women of her class had at that time. As an adult looking back at her example, I see that she helped me have a spirit of adventure when I traveled with a similar faith that she had.
In the painting above, Mom has a crab net and is canoeing over to the Point which was a spot where we went to crab at low tide. When I painted this crab below I wrote about our yearly summer beach trip where we had such fun crabbing, clamming and fishing. Here is there is the link to the earlier post: Into the Sea
I’m back to painting again, here is a new still life I did in honor of my Mom. Her birthday was last Friday. I discovered this small megellica pitcher of hers hiding in the back on top of my kitchen cabinet last month. I just love it, the sunflower with the bee and the handle made to look like a branch.
Tulips in Mom’s Pitcher is a companion to the other majolica stoneware pitcher painting I did last year. I chose bright colorful tulips and pears to lift my spirits as the news has been very discouarging lately, it felt good to get absorbed in painting.
It’s been a busy season, we’ve had a guy redoing our hallway bathroom for the past four months. We have a 60’s split level and the bathroom shower was leaking and the floor cracked so we bit the bullet deciding to update it. He said he’d have it done before our girl got home from school in late December, she went back to school in late January with the bathroom still unusable. Now finally it is almost done. Though it’s taken him a long time, he’s quite an artist himself and has done a good job. It’s looking great and we’re thrilled.
I’m going to start a new painting this weekend, it’s a good distraction. Here in Atlanta everyone is very excited about the Super Bowl as our home team, the Falcons are hopefully going to “rise up,”as they say. Enjoy the weekend!
I’ve just completed Mom’s Majolica Pitcher with Tuxie in honor of Mom’s birthday which is today. For years now I’ve been painting a yearly still life for Mom. This one features her lovely majolica pitcher. Mom collected all kinds of antiques and she had a beautiful collection of majolica earthenware pottery which she kept on shelves in her kitchen. They were colorful and distinctively decorated with natural motifs. I think it was the natural motifs that attracted Mom to the pieces as she loved the natural world herself.
When I set the pitcher up in my studio to begin the painting, Tuxie, our cat, jumped up on the table and made himself at home around the pitcher. This tickled me so I called my daughter, a good photographer, over and she quickly took some photos which I used to sketch him in. Tuxie is not the most handsome of cats but he has a wonderfully quirky personality and we love him dearly. I tried to capture his funny look.
I wanted this year’s painting to be a happy one full of color and chose a cobalt blue table cover to include Mom’s favorite color. If Mom were here, I think she would be pleased because all of her daughters and their families are in happy, contented places now. This makes me very happy also. I hope everyone is having a great start to this year!
Philodendron in the Window is one of my earlier paintings. I’ve always loved it for the colors and because it reminds me of Mom. With spring in full force here in Atlanta I’ve been doing a lot of gardening. My wonderful neighbor helped me by tilling up a 30 foot long patch of grass along our picket fence. I’ve planted flowers and lots of veggies and am mulching heavily since they say it’s going to be a dry summer. Unlike my Mom I was I never into gardening even though my degree is in landscape architecture. Since we’ve been settled in our home for a while the little gardening I’ve done each spring is starting to add up. So here I am after eight years here with a vegetable garden in our front yard.
When my twin sister and I went off to separate colleges, we had different school breaks. On a break early in my freshmen year, Mom showed me how to make cuttings of house plants for potting later to take to my dorm room. That’s when I noticed she had lots of glass jars with various shaped leaves gracing the window sills in the kitchen and sun room. Mom said she enjoyed the years my twin and I came home at different times because she got to know us as individuals better. Now that I have a teen daughter I understand my mom’s comments. Teenagers are very much into their own world as it should be. It’s later they begin to notice more about their home experience. Wherever I’ve lived I always have plant cuttings in jars on the window sills, such as the one in this panting. Happy Mother’s day to all mothers and the gifts they pass down.
Magnolia Flower in Mom’s Ginger Jar a new still life that I painted in honor of my Mom. Her birthday was on Monday and I try to do a painting with her in mind around this time of year. The ginger jar was hers. I’ve always loved it and now it graces our dining room side board. Mom collected antique ginger jars and I can remember her telling me that the Chinese filled them with ginger and other spices to export to the West. This particular jar was made in the early 1800’s. She also had many pieces of antique willow ware with the blue painted landscape scene depicting a love story. We heard the story from mom many times of a young couple in love. The wealthy girl’s father would not allow her to marry the poor boy so they ran away together and sailed off on a boat which sank in a storm and they were turned into love birds to live happily ever after. My Mom was quite a romantic.
I enjoyed working on this painting, it was challenging for me to get the colors to work with the white of the magnolia flower along with the white of the porcelain ginger jar. It was a fun puzzle, I am pleased with the end result and I think that Mom would have loved it. Happy Birthday Mom!
Today is my Mom’s birthday so she has been on my mind. She died a few years back right before I started painting. She loved my papier mache bowls and was very supportive of my artistic ventures. I wish she could have seen my paintings. Each year I do a painting with my Mom in thought, mainly still lifes. Iris Still Lifeis one that is full of her presence. Almost every object in the painting once belonged to her. She loved antiques and the color blue. She also loved to garden and had a flower and herb garden. My dad built her a white picket fence that served as a backdrop to all her colorful flowers. From early spring through fall flowers graced our kitchen table. I grew up surrounded in beauty and perhaps that’s one reason I’ve become an artist. Thank you Mom!