Mourning the loss of a loved one is a tricky journey to be on, I guess it depends on ones temperament, life experience and what you believe in or not believe in as far as one faiths is concerned.
For me it has been such a journey now already a year since I have lost my grandmother if your Spanish (Mi Abuela). Our grandmothers are like precious pearls they hold so much beauty and wisdom. My grandmother passed at the beautiful age of 94 years of age, she was unable to communicate with words due to the normal progression of age and dementia and all that comes when the body just can't support itself any longer, but she spoke volumes with her beautiful brown almond eyes and her touch. She loved to touch peoples hands she always said the hands told many a story about how someone has lived their life and the journey they were on.
My grandmother was the youngest of 12 children and her parents felt it was more important not to go to school and help them to do the cooking, cleaning and sewing, she did manage to learn her numbers and was able to add and subtract. She was a quick study and adapted and learned quickly in order to survive. She learned to be a wonderful seamstress and she made my wedding dress. She was ahead of her time in many respects, mother of invention was always on her side to figure things out. She was a wonderful cook, I'm Puerto Rican so you can imagine the wonderful Spanish meals we enjoyed at her table. She taught me well when it came to the kitchen, taught me how to sew and how to be a giving, loving and respectful human being and how to face adversity in the face without apology.
My abuelita had a green thumb, I swear that women could simply touch a dying plant with the point of her figure and that dead plant would grow. Painting as always been my saving grace, God has always been my healer, my protector the one I could lean on in my despair and sadness and give my gratitudes to. I leaned on both to help me get through my mourning process. After my grandmother passed I literally stopped painting , I just had no desire to do anything. I found myself exhausted all the time there was a big transition in my household in having to move my mother and brother in and I dealing with some health issues.
when things started to settle down with the moving transition I decided to get back to painting, but really did not know what to put on canvas, until I looked at some flowers and it reminded me of how much my grandmother loved all kinds of flowers, plants and trees, she was always amazed at the brilliant explosion of color when she saw crape myrtle trees ans azaleas.
I decided to paint a series of flower paintings according to me and what moved me with color. I call the series "Grandma's Flowers". Once again brush unto canvas was my saving grace, my quiet time of meditation, tears with each painting came and gratitudes to my father in heaven for giving me the gift of painting so that I could cope with my loss.
So 30 paintings later I have a collection of paintings that were created in different stages of my grief, my loss for my beloved grandmother. Many are listed here on my website and shared in this post. It has made my journey in this business of grief a little easier. With each painting I shed tears, I let go of my sorrow and my ache of my heart and have smiled along the way.
I loved my grandmother, I cannot find all the words that can truly describe the love I had and still do for her. I had great respect and admiration for a women who did so much with her life with what little she was given at birth. I come from a strong stock of women and of great faith in God believing firmly that nothing is impossible when you hold on to the belief that God is greater than all my sorrows and fears.
I paint other imagery as well and work with mix media, but I think I will continue to paint, paint away images of flowers; painting them keeps me connected with my grandma and they simply make me happy. I love to be bold with color and texture and will continue to play and experiment with both. It is my hope that along the way that my paintings will bring a smile to your face and help you forget about what might not be going so great right now in your life. Remember it's all temporary, so go outside and smell the flowers and embrace the Grace and Mercies that God gifts you every morning when you wake up.
See you in The Studio :)