Walking Home – Tuscany, Italy
16 x 20
Oil on Board
At first I was going to name this painting, “If my Grandmother were Italian,” because I so loved my Grandma and if she lived in Italy, I could see here walking home from the market just like this lady.
My Grandma was not from Italy – she was a petite farm wife from rural Iowa. And even though the mother figures in my life consistently made me feel like I could never be good enough for their affections, my Grandma just loved ME She loved me for everything I was, without judgment or doubt.
My Grandma taught me how to file my fingernails, sew dresses from a pattern and how to make the Worlds Greatest Sugar cookies, from scratch of course. I still remember the smell of the local dairy that we would go to and buy fresh milk, and her voice as she laid next to me at night, rubbing my back until I fell asleep. I loved her canned greened beans and stewed tomatoes, and the pretty tablecloths that she patiently tatted. Even though she made me go to summer bible school in itchy polyester dresses that I hated, I adored her and loved being on the farm. I loved being in her HOME.
The day she was killed in a tragic car wreck as she was turning into the drive in front of the farm was the first time in my life that I felt such loss and sadness. It felt so unfair that the world took her away from me. But my Grandma has stayed with me, in my heart and in my home. Her homemade quilts still warm me at night. I still make homemade sugar cookies and always have well keep nails. My Grandma is with me when I plant tomatoes in my garden and rub my own kids backs when they need some extra love.
My Grandma is still holding my hand and walking me home. In the end, we are all just walking each other home.
A look at the Creative Process. Thanks to my son Luke for capturing some memories of me in my Studio.