I am blogging A to Z about artists, particularly women artists and mostly about my mother, Helen Burling Ottaway. Today’s post is about my mother and my sister: another woman artist. Christine Robbins Ottaway.
I do not have much of her fine art. She was a landscape architect and historic preservation expert and worked for Caltrans. She also wrote, on her blog Butterfly Soup, and in other places.
The painting is an oil, by my mother Helen Ottaway, done when my sister was 14. This painting seems especially creepy to me, the oranges and blues. I love the painting but it is frightening as well. My sister could write terrifying stories. Here is my poem about one of her stories. The title of her story is “We don’t make good wives”.
They are papering over your memory
They want the clean version
The inhuman perfect version
I remember the violent sea serpent
Related to Aunt Nessie: me, I think
He stole your skin, you say
But you lure him to, posing
On the shore naked
And let him take you home
And impregnate you
And then you have six daughters
What did he expect? you say
Cold blooded and beautiful
White skin and greenish hair
Who all can swim like fish
and all seven search
Until you find the skin
and then away
You say, he took my skin
Now I have taken his
Let them paper over your memory
Let them pretend you were sweet
I hold your words in my mind
And I love you wholly
ATOZBLOGGINGCHALLENGE2022 #art #Women artists #Helen Burling Ottaway #ATOZCHALLENGE #Christine Robbins Ottaway #APRILATOZ
For more information about the #AtoZChallenge, check out this link.