Wednesday, May 10, 2006

One of Many

I admire people who can do art.

When I was growing up, my mom used to set up her easel on the side porch and do oil paintings. The smells of turpentine and wine are mixed up in my memories of her painting (thought I don't actually remember her drinking wine while painting). I think she was pretty good. A couple of her pictures are still hanging around her house, but most of them are gone. One hot, sticky summer, my brother John and I went up into the attic looking for something (I don't remember what), and I found her stash of paintings. Some of them were really good, some weren't. And there were nudes. Some good, some not. I wondered if she'd ever sat in on a class or if all of them came out of her head or a magazine. I suppose that in a house full of boys, having pictures of nudes hanging around wasn't exactly politic, but it was a shame that they had to hide in the attic. I asked about them not too long ago and she said she'd gotten rid of all her pictures. Too bad. That's a part of my mother I would have liked to have kept.

My husband is artistic. So is my son. It is one of the many things that I love about them. I admire it all the more because I can't do it. When faced with a blank sheet of paper, both of them go to town drawing fantastic landscapes or robots or just shapes that bend your mind around. When I look at a blank sheet of paper, I see.... a blank sheet of paper. I don't see pictures. I wish I did.

This is a painting he did years ago and a detail of it. I think it is beautiful....

My grandmother has two great paintings in her livingroom. She bought them from struggling art student for $50 probably about 40 years ago. They're huge and darkly colorful... and I like them both very much. I like paintings you can look at for a long time. You can look at those. My grandmother has done it for years! That's how I feel about my husband's picture. You can look at it for years and still not really see all of it.

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