AtoZ Theme Reveal

My theme for the April AtoZ blog challenge this year is art. I think it will mostly be my mother’s art. She died in 2000 of ovarian cancer. My only sibling died in 2012 of breast cancer and my father in 2013 of emphysema. And I have the art: my parents were both packrats and trying to deal with the house and an out of date will took about three years. Moving stuff around, getting rid of stuff. The art initially went in to a storage unit and then into my house. My mother Helen Burling Ottaway was prolific! And she kept every single piece of art and her diaries back to high school! I found a suitcase with my grandfather’s poetry as well: that will be for another day.

This painting is of my sister. My mother started oils later in her career and Michael Platt, a DC artist, said something like, “Quit doing tiny things. Do something big.” My mother started doing life size and larger than life portraits in chalk pastel and in oils. This painting captures my sister when she was twenty: emotions. I like it but I also think that it is frightening.

Christine Robbins Ottaway age 20, by Helen Burling Ottaway, oil, 1984

3 thoughts on “AtoZ Theme Reveal

  1. Anne M Bray says:

    I too am a “very prolific” artist (and pack rat) and I’m starting to feel concern for those who will have to deal with my stuff after I go. “Legacy” is the topic this month in an artists’ group I’m part of, your post is very timely!
    You’re right about everything that portrait stirs up – it’s luminescent yet creepy at the same time.

    Doing 2 A-Zs this year:
    Shoe Sketches

    • drkottaway says:

      Oh, wonderful. Well, I am a packrat too. My daughter says “You have too much stuff.” I respond, “I got rid of a house full of stuff and two barns, so I could be worse!” She responds, “When you die I am getting rid of ALL OF IT.” “Ok, I will be dead. I don’t care.” So I’ve been making a list of the things they might not want to drop at Goodwill, but WHATEVER.

    • drkottaway says:

      I like “luminescent yet creepy”. Yes.

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