Waiting to Go Home
I wanted to show a painting I did many years ago, not long after my "Coast" went through Hurricane Katrina. Waiting to Go Home was my first painting to be juried into the Mississippi Watercolor Society International Show. It is my second painting were "I see angels". The painting is of a dear friend who modeled for me many times. I want to pay tribute to my friend and her memory. You see, I lost her several months ago. She was 97 and true Steel Magnolia.
Lillie and I have been friends for over 30 years. A lot of life takes place in 30 years: birth/death; laughter/tears; sunshine/storms. There was a lot of extremes of life that we supported each other through and this painting depicts one of those moments, not just the loss of a loved one, but living with the loss even years later, and yet, having the strength of character to make a joyful life without them. That was Lillie. We had been talking about her husband who had passed away several years earlier. It was just a fleeting moment in our friendship, but I wanted to catch that moment in my painting of her. She was normally so happy and strong but I saw that moment of sadness. As I painted it, I had no plan for the angel in the background. Yet as the paint and water moved over the paper, I began to see this angel image. It just seemed to appear over her shoulder; so I went with it. That's what I love about watercolor. When I let it do a lot of the work and let it be part of the process, I am always more successful.
As I said, this is a tribute to my friend. It has taken me three months to write this; I tried three different times and just kept procrastinating. But here it is. Thirty years brought many major life events, but it was the common day events that will stay in my memory: discussing what was blooming in our yard, what we were cooking for supper, our mutual love of the color pink, her sharing satsumas with me from her tree when mine wouldn't produce any, the picture she shared with me of her trip to the fair with her grandchildren, or her telling me how much all her church friends wanted her new pink furry slippers that I had given her for Christmas. I will miss my friend, Lillie Bell Floyd. But in missing her I think about my favorite scene from the Andy Griffith Show... little Opie has just let the baby birds he was raising out of the cage, and he says to Andy "the cage sure looks empty" and Andy answers back , "but don't the trees seem full"! Well, my world is a little less colorful without her, but Heaven has a lot more sparkle and laughter with her in it.. Welcome home, Lillie, I'll miss you!
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