I have a few paintings in my living room. Each one was painted by my mother. She never went to school for art or ever made a dent in the art community, but she made a dent in me. She loved to paint figures in a variety of poses, attempting to express her mood through the figure. If she was anxious, the figure would pick at its skin. If she was joyous, the figure would dance. It was simple, yet beautiful.
She would taste the paints before using them. It didn’t matter if they were acrylic or watercolors or oil, she would touch the pad of her finger to the paint and then against her tongue. She said this would help her determine the mood of the paint. “You don’t want angry paint in a painting about sorrow,” she would say. I felt like she was doing this to tease me but she would even do this when she thought I wasn’t looking. She had to taste it each time in case the paint changed its mood, buried in her cluttered art box.
After working, after cooking dinner, after everything she did for us, all of her spare energy went toward painting. Despite that, she would just start another canvas when she was finished, if she even finished a painting. Never framed them, never hung them up.(more…)