Sunday, May 11, 2008
Mothers Day is a very good thing; we need to go out of our ways to remember and value mothers every day. For me, though, it is bittersweet, since my mother died in 2004.
She was a creative person, and as a young woman she had a goal of going to art school. She graduated from Elkhorn High School in 1947, then attended Milwaukee State Teachers College (now UWM) for a year. The letters she left reveal a very lonely girl who came come often to see her parents and her boyfriend. She found school difficult, struggled with tests, and was probably depressed. She intended to transfer to Layton School of Art her sophomore year, and in fact was accepted there. She said that they kept her portfolio, which contained what she thought was her best work. But she never attended. Instead she dropped out of school, married her boyfriend, and turned her urge to create to sewing clothing for children, slipcovers and draperies for her farmhouse.
I have a few of her pieces. These were all done with gouache on illustration board. I cropped them and fixed a few stains, and I'm responsible for the shadows from my lack of photography skills. She has drawings as well, mostly in pencil, and mostly of country scenes. I wonder if she didn't come home weekends, go to the farm where her boyfriend, lived, and draw there. Today I wish I could show her my work, tell her how much I appreciated her support for my own artistic ambitions, thank her for being our mom.