One of the things I enjoy in making art is in giving art to others. Isn’t that what we do with our talents? Aren’t we meant to share it with others? In this case I painted portraits of two little girls. Future artists who love to create just like me. They asked “what art project are you working on now?” “We need to do some art together.” Grown up questions from one artist to another.
As grandparents or family elders we have a tremendous influence over the younger generations. They listen to everything we say and believe that what we tell them is a truth. It is responsibility I do not take lightly. These young girls believe that I can do anything with a paint brush and canvas. If only that was true. But I do love to work on projects with kids. From magic wands to acrylic pours it is all messy and fun.
I have my good days and bad days as an artist. Sometimes everything comes together just like I imagined. Then there are the days when I feel discouraged. It’s on those days that I remember the faces of my young future artists and I can’t help but smile. I smile in their belief in me. I smile because in their eyes I am capable of greatness. How can I not pick up my brush and try again.
I suspect the paintings will hang up in their rooms. I hope they will think of me when they look their pictures. I hope they know it was painted for them with love. ❤️❤️❤️
I paint a lot of sheep. There is a reason. There is a story. Isn’t there always a story?
I’m not sure I can make this story brief. Seems like it loses some of its sparkle if I try. I really don’t want to tell you a dull and boring story. Since this story is about sheep I’m already at risk of putting you to sleep. So I’ll try my best not to make this a bedtime tale but a kinda, sorta of an adventure.
It starts at my grandma’s house. She had a huge two story, five bedroom farmhouse. It was once my grandfather’s childhood home. He was the baby of the family and the last to get married. He had inherited the house. He was an apple farmer with acres and acres of apple trees. He grew up in Hales Corners, Wisconsin which is anything but rural now. But back then there was land to buy and opportunities to be had. His parents came here from Czechoslovakia. I don’t know why and I never asked him questions. Typical kid. I so loved that house.
There were outbuildings that had bushels of apples ready to be sold. My grandma made some amazing apple desserts that I totally lost my mind over. She could do anything with apples including the cores. Remember red pickled apples? Yum.
As a kid I loved playing on the staircase in that house. Probably because I thought stairs were cool. I was a kid that grew up in a mobile home so anything that wasn’t in my home was pretty neat. The staircase was not straight but turned halfway up. It had a big landing. It was there I played with my dolls and studied my environment. On the wall was a big picture of sheep. I counted and recounted the number of sheep in that painting never coming up with the same number twice. I spent many hours of my childhood on the floor beneath that painting.
I even challenged my cousins in how many sheep there were. The struggle was real. The count always seemed allusive to all of us. But still it was my favorite painting. One day grandma said she had something important to ask me. She was working on her will and wanted to know what I would like. I instantly said – the sheep picture!!!! Grandma said “you don’t want that”, but I did. “No you don’t. You need to think about this.” I never changed my mind.
My grandma always hoped I would be an art teacher one day. I had other dreams. Grandma said I would change my mind many times before I grew up. I never changed my mind with that either. I would one day become a Wisconsin State Trooper. Grandma lived to see me get my badge. ❤️
When my grandmother passed away it was at my house. It was Christmas Eve. It was one of the saddest times in my life. I never went back to her house. I didn’t know if grandma had left me that sheep painting, but she had. I did get heirlooms from my grandparents thanks to my mom. But the picture was more then just a picture to me.
The sheep painting traveled a great distance to end up with me. It hung on that wall at their house in the same spot my entire life. It reminds me of my childhood. It reminds me of my grandparents and all that they taught me. I miss them. So Varla’s Blue “SHEEP” art represents a part of my past. One of my loves. To remember them I paint sheep. I paint a lot of sheep. Now why is my business called Varla’s “Blue” sheep art! That’s another story.
I have had many different titles in life. Being a daughter, sister or friend were titles I didn’t give a lot of thought too. They didn’t feel like special titles, but more about the roles in life that I found myself in.
As I entered the adult world and began my work life there were more titles that came with different responsibilities. Titles that would define my position in the agency I worked for. Titles taken away when I retired. But in 1988 I got a new title. One that I still have today. It is one of my most cherished of titles. I’m called grandma.
So when I learned that two dear friends of mine were becoming grandma and grandpa for the very first time, I wanted to do something special. They have sent us pictures of their granddaughter when she was born, her first day in child care and her first tooth. Yep, I remember well the excitement of those moments.
So here’s to you Grandma and Grandpa. Enjoy your new titles. Enjoy making memories. Enjoy the laughs and hugs. Especially enjoy the kisses and the cuddles. That is the very very best thing about this new title.
I love to hear “Grandma I miss you”, which makes me so glad I lived to enjoy this moment. ❤️