Thursday, May 3, 2012

Irises -- Revisited

Last March I posted a childhood memory about fingerpainting flowers as a child. This week I was able to "pass it on" in a special way to my sister.  I know the picture is dark but I just wanted to share this story and this phenomenal talent that was emerging at such a young age.

After writing that post on March 1st, many asked me if I still had that picture.  A child's painting from 50 years ago?!  I had a few things tucked away but I doubted I had that after all these years.  It did get me to thinking if it was indeed in a particular box. Deep in the junk closet of my own children's packed away keepsakes, I found what I was looking for -- an elongated flat box that held some quick drawings my mother had done, and a funny huge robin on manila paper and swashed with a thin layer of tempera paint  -- a faint memory, too. Rolled in the bottom were two finger paintings. A blue one that I think I did but not signed and this brown one. Great, this is it! But the artist signature was not mine! Instead, my little sister had signed her piece of art( two years later with the same teacher) and for some reason, I had it.

This had to be preserved, and I had to get it back to her.  She had been in the huge process of helping her son plan a wedding many states away, and buying and refurbishing a home that was taking longer than anyone cared to admit. Even as an artist in her own right, with a degree from UT and our mother's genes, Janie still only dabbled in her art. But a studio room is part of that new house and I wanted to make sure she had this piece to adorn a wall of that room to remind her of her gifted talent.

I framed it between two pieces of glass, printed out the Irises story and placed it on the back just above her childhood signature. Then it was off to UPS to get it safely to her.  I am a little OCD when it comes to mailing packages; checking every hour the staus online and calling to see if it came to the right door.  I was beside myself when Janie did finally say that it came, but she would open it...later. WHAT!? Who does that?

  As it turned out, the wait was some sort of divine intervention. The next day, Janie heard about the passing of her dear godmother, a precious friend (and the last) of our mother's.  The sad moment at least became bittersweet as she finally opened the package with her husband.  A treasured memory preserved of art, mothers, sisters, friends, and lasting love.


  1. Every time I read about your affection for your sister, I am touched. I have always believed everyone should paint or dabble in some sort of art but not everyone has the DNA that you folks appear to have!

  2. I admit it may look like some DNA factors are involved here, but I do know that there are many creative outlets that really do not require "talent" just the desire to express what you feel. No one in my family every tried quilting, but I just "wanted to enough" to try and didn't let myself feel intimidated by the Talented Ones. I just needed to delve into someting creative to manage my grief. I still wouldn't even dare put a quilt in a show, contest, or even a local county fair, but I still love to do it.


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