Sunday, July 09, 2006
July 9 - Mom, I'm still grieving
Why is it so hard to paint one's mother's face? I am revisiting dealing with my Mom's death last April, and the only way I can cope with the wash of sadness is to paint her. I keep finding images and even when looking at myself, I see her. This image is her in the one bed-room apartment where she moved shortly after my dad died. Living independently, perhaps not yet using her walker, she is a mature woman, lit from the sliding glass doorway to her small patio. She used to put her index finger on her cheek just the way you see it here, and although odd, is a normal pose. I find myself doing it, too. The composition is one of strength, with the verticals framing her, objects of her life on the shelf of the china cabinet behind her, and the split-leaf philodendron almost paying homage to her spirit. All of her houses had one of these tropical plants, some growing several feet tall.
In the collection of my sister, Leslie Gerhardt of Anaheim, California