Saturday, March 7, 2009

"Womp" 16x20 Oil on Canvas Not for Sale

I am entering my grandma(Womp) as my first entry into my blog. She died a few months ago, and I wanted to paint her. I only had one old sepia photo of her as a young woman and decided to use that as a jumping off point. She was quite a character. She was my caretaker before I was school age and took me pick okra one time to "make some money". I have no idea how old I was, but I remember the okra plants looked like a forest to me. We got up at the crack of dawn and worked until lunch. I remember that the dew rendered my ragged and huge cotton gloves useless against the spiny texture of this dubious vegetable. At noon, we went to collect what i expected to be a windfall of cash. It turned out to be a few coins. I don't know if she was trying to teach me a lesson, but I learned one nonetheless. I decided I never wanted to do that again and would without question, go to college. I hate okra to this day.

I called her "Womp" because I was the first grandchild and apparently could not say "Grandma". The name stuck with the subsequent horde of grandchildren and great grandchildren that were to follow with frightening frequency. Until her recent health issues, she quite robust and would cook every Sunday for the whole family and was the glue that held this immense and diverse family together. She was a child of the depression and a great raconteur. Her stories sometimes had little or no truth to them, but she was always a hoot. We were never quite sure how old she was.