A picture paints a 1000 words. When you are the subject senses and memories are captured too. Mixed in with the colour the brush immortalizes a fragment of your essence.
My mother’s friend Di lived in a house who’s terracotta walls blended into the setting of her home in the Valley of 1000 hills in Natal. Mum placed a wicker chair under a tree in the garden and I sat in the shade holding my precious doll Sophie. I was heartbroken when I lost Sophie but in this picture she remains with me always.
It is not easy for a child to sit still, I sat in that chair for hours. As Mum sat behind the easel I watched chickens scratching in the rich earth. I listened to birds calling, absorbing the song which spoke to my soul. I smelt the sweet blend of earth and flora. Patterns of branches, leaves, light and shadow wove a deep peace, integrating me with stillness blanketed in nature.
During breaks from sitting I wandered in the garden looking for butterflies. Watching them flit and rest. Dancing in perfect movement, perfect colour, perfect life.
I wore a dress made in my grandparents factory Lynwood Fashions, in Salisbury, Rhodesia. Now my grandparents are gone. The dress and factory are gone. Salisbury and Rhodesia are gone. When I look at the painting they all return in vibrant memory.
You can look at a selection of Mum’s art on this link