Painting can be hard work sometimes. I have done this small portrait in watercolor and I cannot leave it alone. I keep working into it, loosing what ever freshness it had, but I so want to develop this into something more. It isn’t often I get an idea for a painting and I really would like to have it come to fruition. I envision it full of imagery, detail and gold leaf. I wanted to get this study right but I think I will have to do another study for further improvement. I still see so much wrong with this one but it has been manipulated enough.
This woman is my grandmother holding her fifth child who died in infancy. I think the picture was taken with her knowledge that her baby was not healthy. The story is so sad, I cried twice while painting this 7″x10″ watercolor. I have turned them into a madonna and child complete with an icon halo that so often appears upon those we love who have died. Most of these adored (at least in my family, I am sure), would not want to be on a pedestal, but there they sit in perceived perfection through my lifetime and, if I have done my story-telling well, maybe through my children’s. ( I should think some of it got through to them!) I really didn’t know this grandmother well, (she was in her 70′s when I was born) and I have to wonder if she would be flattered or think it was foolishness that I use her image so often and freely. I rather believe she would think I should be better off cleaning my house!