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Monday, February 6, 2012

Being an Artist vs Being a Mom

My mother was a stay-at-home housewife, active in her church, and also a part-time artist. She blossomed whenever someone asked about art and blossomed even more when they asked about her paintings. Her countenance really did change and she actually glowed whenever she showed off her paintings.

I now get it.  This was my mother’s passion.

One of my sisters complained once how mother thought more of her paintings than she did of her very own children.  I have thought of that proclamation and I can understand why mom acted and felt this way.  I'll bet that every time mom needed to interacted with any of her four girls, we probably had a smirk on our face or in some manner let her know she was not meeting all our expectations.  I'll bet some of those interactions fed her insecurities to validate how she wasn't the perfect mother, no matter how hard she tried.

I also assume that each and every interaction with her oil paintings were done with joy, brought her pleasure, and never challenged her authority and motives.  Her paintings never disappointed her.
Jay on the Tractor

Now days, all I have from my mother are memories and a couple of her oil paintings. Her favorite painting, “Jay on the Tractor” is now owned by one of my sisters.  Another favorite, “My Last Deer Hunt,” is owned by me. She painted this oil in the Tooele desert while dad went off to hunt deer, leaving her in the camp to paint and be alone with her passion.
My Last Deer Hunt

I assume the reason these paintings mean so much to her was because she relates emotionally to each of these moments.  These paintings are filled with emotional love and joy for her husband; my dad.   

I now see how my mother found her passion early in her life and she found a way to escape into a world of art and magic where she could let loose and be who she felt she was supposed to be.

I love her for that.

I also can finally understand how her paintings could be considered her favorite children.  They were, after all, where she found the most emotional support from a house full of daughters who seemed to seldom be satisfied and appreciative of what she was doing.  We didn't understand the core of who she really was.  We seemed to only know her as mom and how she fit in our own little circle of who we were.

If you would like to see more of my mom's work, you can visit Beverly B Dobson's blog site