This is always a challenging, complicated day — most years I avoid it altogether. I rarely share images of my mom, but for some reason this one feels appropriate. It was taken the year after I was born: my mother painting a portrait of me. (Somehow she still managed to paint while juggling a 3 year old and a new baby.)
My love of art comes directly from my mother and it is one of the things I value most in life. Although she stopped painting not long after this picture was taken – long before I have tangible memories of her – there are still so many connections between her and art. Throughout the years homeschooling us, art was always there. Along side learning the alphabet, we had drawing lessons. While she was teaching us Bible lessons, we were illustrating the stories on homemade “scrolls” made of rolls of paper glued at each end to paint stir sticks from the local hardware store. As the years passed I remember her teaching me not just about art history, but how to look at art; How to see the details and read the stories woven in pencil or paint; How to look at the parts then see the whole.
This year, approaching 60 days in quarantine and wrestling with my own angels and demons — as she ever was, as we all are — I lean more and more on art. Whether it is spending time rearranging the works on my walls to accommodate new acquisitions from amazing friends and artists, or making my own questionable creations with words or beads or yarn or uncertain pen strokes on paper; painting patterns on the walls of my studio; swiping my phone screen to capture a moody or mundane or magical moment inside this microcosm of a world I now inhabit.
All of this was born from her. So I hope this can somehow echo through the aching 11-year chasm between us: Thank you.