Tuesday, October 13, 2015

706 Aunt Mamie Takes a Break

"706 Aunt Mamie Takes a Break"
acrylic - 8x6 in


This is another painting taken from a simple sketch found while cleaning out my work space.  I originally planned to call it "Do-si-do" because I imagined a girl dancing at a barn dance in rural America.  As I began painting and let my mind wander, I was taken back to my childhood summers spent in Streator, Illinois, where my Aunt Mamie was the Martha Stewart of her day, only she didn't have a staff.   Typical Aunt Mamie, she would say on a whim, "Let's pick the cherries today, and we'll make jam,"  or "Today, we're going looking for cat tails for flower arrangements."  She worked very hard to take care of the family, a large house, a beautiful yard that included her award winning roses and the most gorgeous gladiolas you've ever seen.  Aunt Mamie never took a break--she cooked and cleaned and served her community, quietly and without a lot of attention or recognition.  As I grow older, I realize what a strong influence she had on me.

The pose of this woman in the painting could be interpreted as a hands-on-hips reprimand, and certainly Aunt Mamie could be authoritative, but after all this sentimentality and reminiscence, I decided this is Aunt Mamie's alter ego, who breaks into dance in the yard on a beautiful summer day.

I recently visited the family home, and felt the same warm-fuzzies I remembered.  I graciously declined a tour of the home from the current owners because I wanted every image of its interior to remain the same as in my memory.

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