I have this painting.

Well, obviously, that’s an understatement.  My walls are filled with beautiful paintings, thanks to my mother.  I have mountain scenes, florals, seascapes, horses… they’re all fabulous, and I don’t say that just because she’s my mom.  Many across America agree!

But I have this painting that hangs in the guest bedroom, and it’s always been one of my favorites.  She painted it when I was a child.  It’s my sister and me standing in a spring meadow near our grandparents’ cabin.  The painting brings back so many memories.  Certainly… memories of the cabin, playing in the stream, looking for polka-dotted mushrooms, working jigsaw puzzles.  More than that, it brings back memories of the studio.  Somehow, being a child in that painting takes me back to being a child while my mother painted.

We had a large art studio in the house, and three or four times a week her students would gather for lessons.  As sure as ‘Gunsmoke’ was coming on Monday nights, so were the people with their canvases and oil paints.  There was always a big pot of coffee over on the side counter, along with a box of those little sugar cubes.  Weren’t those the cutest things!!  Do they even make them anymore?  That smell of turpentine and coffee mingling together… it’s powerful.  Once in blue moon I’ll go to an art guild meeting with her (especially when she’s giving the program), and there’s that aroma… oil paints, turpentine, coffee, and maybe something sweet to eat… and I’m back in my childhood home, back in the studio where my cousin and I played restaurant with all the art tables, back where my mother stood at her easel for hours on end painting those southwest landscapes of cattle and thunderheads.

I’m spoiled to have so many “L Calton’s” in my home!  Thank you, Mama!  Happy Birthday!

5 Responses to “Painting”

  1. Katie Howell says:

    Thank you Sandy for this beautiful post! I never see too much of Gammy painting, even though she does paint all the time (she doesn’t get too much done when we go to visit her)! Because, instead of painting, she was playing cowboys and indians with us in the fort, camping out in the teepee, hiking in the arroyos and mountains, telling us a good story, taking us on picnics, making mud pies with me, or showing me how to paint!! Happy Birthday to my wonderful Grandmother! I wish I was in Portales right now celebrating with you. Love you!

  2. Jodie says:

    That’s great that you mentioned the smell. I can still vividly remember that smell too! I always loved going to your house when we were little because of the atrium and the stairs!

    Two of the memories I remember distinctly are 1) your mother making fried zucchini for a dinner we all ate there and 2) putting together someone’s wedding favors.

    (Again, so GLAD you’re blogging!!)

  3. Sandy says:

    Jodie.. they were my wedding rice bags.. and amazingly enough, I wrote something about them this morning! Be watching… =)

  4. Kim Mann says:

    What fabulous memories!! Happy Birthday, Mama!! Thanks for sharing this today, Sandy.

  5. Sue Moore says:

    Ah, Sandy, another delightful walk down memory lane with you…a lovely honor to your mother on her special day. Thank you for sharing with all of us.
    Smiles ~ Sue

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