Sunday, May 9, 2010


…Just thinking about my mom today. It is, after all, Mother’s Day. Betty was a very special, smart and beautiful lady, a quiet artist with an unquenchable thirst for creativity. She designed clothes without patterns, made every craft project known to man, then turned to the fine arts, creating sculpture and mastering all of the drawing and painting processes. Her goal was to learn the ways of the mediums. Rarely did she take art lessons; instead, she found books and did research until she figured it out. She had no desire to make art her profession. Rather, she lived to explore the next new creative experience.
Mothers pass so many things on to their children, subtle mannerisms and not so subtle attitudes and philosophies. My mom loved the Lord and passed that on to all of us. She loved animals and plants. Not so surprisingly, my sisters and I have that trait too (though I often forget to water my plants). Threaded through my childhood are very strong memories of watching and helping my mom with art projects. She delighted in learning and then showing us. Art was a bond that the whole family enjoyed. Art equals love. And I got it!

Here is a painting that I did for her in 1996, “The Four Faces of Mom” a watercolor 15 x 21. Portraits should capture the nature of the person. In this case it took four faces to express what I wanted to say about my mom. I used old black and white photos of her when she was: a toddler, a 5 year old and 21, when she and my dad were married. I used a color photo for the image of her in her “grandma mode”. She was thrilled that I captured her youth as well as her mature beauty.

My mother is no longer physically on this earth and I miss her, however, she left a legacy of joy in me that flows into my paintings on a regular basis.

To my mom and all those many artist-moms out there, thanks for passing your love of art on to your little ones.


  1. This is so beautiful Susan...the four faces of a woman's brought a tear of course. A UK clothing company just did a TV ad, 6 million pounds, that showed a woman from birth to old age. It was very moving and very much admired in UK. Your painting, far superior, reminded me of it. I am very mindful myself with my daughters of that young, moving into old thing, if I am VERY lucky...but it is a journey. I look at your beautiful painting and hope I have the next step with my girls. Thank you for such a lovely gift.

  2. I remember your Mom and the absolute joy she had in her life. Even when Alzheimer's set in, she was sparkly in her eyes and witty. She's one of those people you'd like to live forever, but she was Heaven-bound, and now is blessed beyond measure. I can see her in you ... your zest for life, your commitment to family and husband, your quality of art that brings others great joy. What a wonderful tribute you wrote to honor your mother.