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
Into the sea is a favorite painting of mine. August is almost here and my daughter is gearing up to go back to school in two weeks which seems strange to me. The hot dog days of August during my childhood is when my family would pack up the station wagon complete with Chocolate, our standard poodle and head to the beach for a couple of weeks. I have so many fond memories of those beach vacations. We rented a cottage at St. Simons Island just off the Georgia coast. Looking back on it, I realize how much work it was for my parents, mom packed all the sheets and towels needed and when we got to Brunswick just prior to crossing the big bridge, we would stop at the Winn Dixie to pick up a week’s worth groceries. She planned and cooked most of the meals except for our one dinner out at the Crap Trap. Of course with four daughters mom got lots of help and a big part of the fun was the fishing, clamming and crabbing that led to nightly seafood feasts.
Each day just prior to low tide we would go to a beautiful spot called the Point, where the beach met the marshes. Here we would fish, clam and crab. We’d take turns canoeing way back into the marsh creeks for the best clamming. The Point was teeming with life; from fiddle crabs, to dolphin that passed through, herons and cranes that fished near us, and even sea otters that scampered through the rocks.
Crabbing was one of the highlights; we easily filled a bushel a day. The crabs we caught were tenacious; I was always a bit frightened of them but I must say there is no better eating than fresh boiled crab. We kept going there for years, my nieces and nephews joined us, in fact my husband and I got married there. It is such a special place in my heart.
I painted this portrait in honor of the blue crab and all those happy memories.