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Thursday, May 17, 2007

A great woman/artist



After being in a mall art show about 30 years ago with my stack of oil paintings, I was contacted by someone about doing art classes. I was just out of art school and had no experience, but still they wanted me to start -- they liked my work. One person who showed up that night was Mary. She had a lifelong love of art which she said came from her mother, who also painted. Mary wasn't a Cecelia Beaux, but she did an original from time to time or just copied paintings by others out of those Walter Foster books or magazines. At the time she started she was 67, when this picture was taken. She was the editor of a newspaper at that time. The class moved from one person's home, to a welding shop, to Mary's newspaper composing room, to her home and eventually to her nursing home. Her painting class helped make the hard transition from her home to the nursing home. She continued to paint, finishing one 12 X 16 about every 3 sessions --- pretty darn good for someone who is 97. We had just celebrated her 97th birthday a couple weeks ago then had to cancel the class last week because her foot hurt. She hated to miss class. Her daughter called to tell me she died on Mother's Day. She was one of the nicest, kindest and wonderful people I have ever met. It's just a small part of her story and how art brings people together of all ages to experience the work and fun of art. She leaves behind 3 children, 11 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren and 1 sad but thankful art teacher. She meant a great deal to me and I will miss her.

5 comments:

Lynn Dykstra said...

Wonderful that a chance encounter lead to this decades long collaboration.
A sweet remembrance.

Slim Johnson said...

Lynn: Mary enjoyed every day, never complained, looked forward to painting every Tuesday and had a great sense of humor. (I should have been paying her!!!)

A Reason to Paint said...

What a fulfilling life she had; I hope I am still painting at 97

Slim Johnson said...

reason: You would not believe the love of painting she had -- she'd paint for an hour non stop before asking for help and then continue -- amazing for 97. All I can say is -- Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie -- Oy, Oy, Oy!!!!

Michael Chesley Johnson, PSA said...

Mary will be an inspiration to all of us. You're lucky to have had her as a student!