Friday, February 24, 2012

RITA SERIES ...... where it all began

THURSDAY'S CHILD ........Original Acrylic 32 X 36
This was the first in my new style and theme based on a collection of old photos of my mother from the late 40s to early 60s. She died when I was in my early 30s and we had a troubled relationship. I hadn't looked at the photos for over 20 years when I pulled out one that inspired me to paint. It opened a floodgate for me of memories I had buried along with her..
Thursday's Child is from the old nursery rhyme and refers to the long way she travelled to come to Canada from the Netherlands as a War Bride after meeting my father, who was part of the Liberation forces WW II.  "Thursday's child has far to go."

TELEPHONE CALL.......Original Acrylic  32 X 36
In the strange affiliation I had with Rita, there was a very dysfunctional connection between us. She delighted in making me the brunt of slights and cruel jokes. One day she answered the phone then handed it to me. On the other end was a man who thought he was talking to his girlfriend - I assume - as he proceeded to talk to me in the most inappropriate way. I was 13 years old. Meanwhile my mother was keeling over with laughter in the next room. (I'm sure she really didn't know what the conversation was, to her mind it was just funny to do this) however I was absolutely mortified.
It has left me with a life long aversion to telephone calls.

GREEN THUMB...........Original Acrylic 32 X 36
She could make a dead stick grow roots and live. She just couldn't bloom children.

WALKIES......Original Acrylic  32 X 36
Rita had a sideline hobby of breeding poodles. Her statement, uttered many times over, was that her dogs gave her much more pleasure than her children ever did.

VOYAGE............Original Acrylic 34 X 34
I look on this as the story of her going through a way drifting where the current took her. It also makes me think of her early death and how her voyage in this life was so short.

FORTRESS...........Original Acrylic  30 X 32
Rita's bedroom was off limits to us. There was an actual lock on the door. The only time we were allowed in was to bring a cup of coffee to her in bed in the morning...after knocking, of course.

UGLY MONKEY......Original Acrylic 32 X 26
I had a stuffed monkey toy that I was crazy about. 'Ugly Monkey' was the nick-name she called me. Also 'Bella', which sounds lovely until you realize it was short for 'Gulla-bella' (like gullible). She was a very beautiful woman but sometimes being beautiful makes you narcissistic. And I never seemed to fit what she wanted, which was a 'carbon copy'. I endured perms from the time I was 4 years old to make my hair curly like hers. And when I 'developed' excessively as a young teen she would bind me at night. Not everyone gets a 'Norman Rockwell' childhood.

Now the photos:


Thursday's Child
Telephone Call

Green Thumb



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