Tuesday, October 13, 2015
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.