“Sea Cove” - Painted for my oldest son, Francis Michael - Pre 1970. His suggestions created life in my brush-work.
All throughout my painting era until 1979, Francis was my biggest encourager ... He believed in my ability to paint and in the eventual development of my own unique style. He had a keen sense of perspective and color where all I possessed was a deep need to paint; no know-how, no experience, no idea of what I was doing yet there he was as unobtrusively as possible peering over my shoulder, “Looking good, Mom.” Even when he gave me softened criticism,
it was always accompanied with praise for the slightest improvement. “I like that wall - looks like part of an old bridge-way or onetime detour from the rocky ledges and shallow waters.”
“Really? Oh, that’s great as I just painted it there because that corner needed to have something occupying that space.”
“You’re improving, Mom.”
I painted the above in 1971- named: “Something Egyptian” after perusing through piles of saved National Geographic Magazines finding three that had articles and photos of Egyptian history and artifacts that provided me with what I was looking to express ... No great undertaking which would of been beyond my abilities to do anyway but just a simple, something Egyptian. I bought a canvas board and following a shadowy notion I had in mind, was ready to begin when another thought took hold: One of the magazines had the prayer of the dead, in hieroglyphics, displayed. I couldn’t wait for Francis to come home from school!
He suggested taping a border around the canvas-board where he would mathematically figure out where each symbol of the prayer of the dead would fit in total for me to draw in with ink or marker after the painting was done. “That’s brilliant, Fran!”
The bottom part of the border was for it’s name and date and my ‘John Hancock’.
Unfortunately, instead of ‘Something Egyptian’, I named it ‘King Tutankhamun’ because the prayer of the dead was taken from an article about the young king and seemed more rightful.
Personally, I much prefer my name for this painting ...
Left: When I was about 1 yr. old and fussing, I was placated with a National Geographic Magazine that uncle Nap (Napoleon) felt sure would pacify me. And it did, well beyond his visit with grandmother. My aunts told me of this years later, between chuckles of laughter, that grandmother struggled with a stalking feeling of guilt every time I would get bored and wanted attention, naturally when she was at her busiest. It was then she’d resort to a NGM, opening it to a page that met with her approval - no naked folks in wild dancing frenzies! Each page, I would examine carefully then pulled at it till it ripped and with that, tears flowed. How easy it became for the family to support my love for this ‘opened door to the world’ by keeping me supplied with this first love, this genuine love of earth and all it’s exciting inhabitants! At bedtime, it accompanied me.
Finally, I outgrew it’s companionship but never it’s presence - it’s moving photos and stories, it’s peoples that are have been welcomed every month in my home for the past 76 years.
This painting I did for grandmother and for the handsome couple that my heart embraced … I’ve named it, Suspended in Time …