Thursday, May 21, 2009

Challenge #4...


Red Anemones (detail), watercolor
Chris Beck


Xochitl (detail), watercolor
Pablo Villicana Lara

Thanks to Pablo's ingenuity, our mutual lack of time this month is being turned into a unique challenge -- Crop 'til You Drop!! -- featuring snippets of larger paintings. Because we both draw heavily on elements of our heritage -- different as they are -- we decided to make this a tribute to our grandmothers.

My grandparents built the house I grew up in -- my parents moved in with my grandfather after my grandmother died -- so there were lots of her things around when I was a young child. She had always loved her flower gardens and vases and pretty tablecloths, and even though the elements in my painting "Red Anemones" never belonged to my grandmother, they are vivid reminders of her.


Although Pablo gets a lot of comments on the hair in "Xochitl" (pronounced So-Shee-tl -- which means Queen of Flowers), he says "I was really more interested in painting the embroidery because not only was it challenging, but it brought me back to days of watching my grandma creating magical flowers with her needles and colorful threads. I could go on and on about Little Shell and all the magic she did, from healing babies to her famous tamales, but I'll save that for future paintings."

12 comments:

  1. beautiful capture of memory. My grandmother tended her garden with such gentle age old hands was my memory. The tablecloths she passed down to my mother were used with love. A wonderful tribute from you both. Strive to be the grandmother those before me have been

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  2. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Mary. Glad you enjoyed our tribute!

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  3. What a wonderful challenge and what an honor to remember your grandmothers this way! Makes me miss mine so much...she, too, could make anything grow - even her three grandkids, who she raised. Thanks for sharing this, Chris and Pablo (Pablo, that needlwork looks so 3D, I want to touch it!).

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  4. Beautiful anemones. And Pablo's painting (and embroidery) is amazing.Really nice way to pay tribute to your grandmothers.

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  5. Thanks, Rhonda!! Pablo's painting is fantastic all around, and that needlework really does look 3-D, doesn't it?

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  6. Thanks, Liz! For anyone who's curious, the full anemone painting is on my website under Still-lifes.

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  7. Beautiful post Chris. I am trying to think what I remember about my grandmother the most. I think it was more the aromas around her home: her perfume, her fruitbowl, the aroma of freshly back saffron buns and of course nail polish. Hard to paint aromas...

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  8. Thanks, April. Yes, aromas are impossible to capture, but they create very clear memories, don't they?

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  9. This is a knock out piece. Love how you have designed it. The cropping works very well.

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  10. Thanks, Gary!! I had a lot of fun painting it. Glad you like it.

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  11. one of my vivid memories of my Nana Leonard, is I'm standing on a chair in by her kitchen sink, while she washed my hands under the spigot. I can clearly see her rubbing the soap on my very small hands. She was a love.
    As I look at this memory again, I see that she had these brass spigot for the water and they were mounted up on the wall over this huge single sink. Like the ones we use outdoors.
    Lovely post and I also, love Pablo's work and his posts about his heritage.

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  12. Standing on a chair by the kitchen sink -- one of those certainties of childhood that we mostly forget as we get older. I love how your memory expands as you revisit it. Thanks for sharing that, Mary.

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