OOOOOO, ornery. What a lovely word! It can be purely negative or it can be positive and joking, or it can just mean stubborn.
This is one of Helen Burling Ottaway’s self portraits. My photograph, through glass. This is 20 by 26 inches, pastel chalk, dated 1979.
I had this up in the guest room, but a guest said he felt nervous with her watching. I laughed and said, “Ok, yeah, I can see that.” I moved it. My mother always looked fierce when she was concentrating. She captures that expression very well. People often thought she was angry when she was teaching, but it’s just concentration. I could tell the difference but the students could not.
And speaking of ornery:
Sol Duc helping with the photograph. Sort of.
She does look quite judgemental, but we all look different when we’re not smiling. I look quite severe – and sound it, too.
I got that a lot in the classroom, too. If I’m concentrating I look pretty fierce. BUT your mom looks fierce in this drawing.
We all look fierce thinking, back to my great grandmothers.