The Prettiest Flower in the Garden
Today would be my grandmother's 110th birthday. She was an absolute angel who made everyone—even complete strangers—feel important and loved. She was endlessly cheerful (famous for singing instead of scolding if we broke a dish), a master storyteller, baked the dreamiest goodies (and confided to me once that she put a little sugar in everything she cooked), an art teacher when she was younger. (I love that we have this in common!)..and the joy of my childhood.
Nearly 30 years ago, when I was still in college, I painted this for my grandpa for his birthday. It's called "The Prettiest Flower in the Garden." I have always loved florals, but what I enjoy most about this painting is the way I hid my grandmother in among them—you don't see her at first glance. This was the first time I had attempted anything this large, attempted a figure, or stretched a full-sheet watercolor. For some miraculous reason (call it beginner's luck?) it turned out exactly the way I hoped.
When I was a missionary, I had a compañera latina who always made the most delicious food—simple, but delicious. I asked her one day how she managed to make everything taste so good. Her answer surprised me, and has stayed with me all these years. "Ya sabes, hermanita. Es que siempre cocino con amor." (You already know, sweet sister. It's because I always cook with love.) Of course.
Admittedly, this painting has some flaws—although it probably represents the best of my early work. What I know for sure was that I painted it with all my heart. I painted it with love, as an ode to my wonderful Grandma Winters. And I think the love is what shows.
10/23/2019 11:31:33 pm
Just like what you said, it is not a perfect painting. Yes, it might not be the best painting our eyes could ever see, but the message behind the painting is what's important for me. It was a good thing that you have elaborated it and I was so touched by the back story you had with this. Your grandma must be really proud of your becoming. I don't know how to paint, but if I will be given a chance to learn the craft, I would so I can also paint the faces of my loved ones.
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I am an artist and art instructor working in water media. Just knowing I can watch colors run together makes it worth getting out of bed every morning! Helping students capture the same excitement is equally rewarding.