This is a print she made in 1989--It is a self portrait. I first found this print this summer (three years after her death), when I was getting ready to move. There was a large container underneath her bed with dozens of prints and drawings I had never seen. I was blown away by this image. Mamma loved birds. We often had finches in our home (I still have our last two), and she fed wild birds as well. When I found this box of prints, I was amazed by the number of bird allusions in her work. Painting herself with feathers is particularly telling, I think. Here's one just for fun:
Later, when I got to the garage, I found some of her plates for printing. This piece of paper was wrapped around a blank plate.
My first reaction to this was pure joy--just seeing her handwriting is comforting for me. But I am also moved by her affirmation--by the idea that Mom saw herself as an artist. She was always self-depreciating, and that got in the way of her progress sometimes.
Painting is not something you learn. It is something you do.
I am as much an artist now as I ever will be. Good or bad is not the point--I am not a student who will study & grow up & become an artist someday. I'm an artist now--whatever--