"In the Fields of Angus" (a portrait of my mother, for my father. 2013)

 pastel pencils, architecural pencil, and watercolor

10" x 12"

2013

 

Well, this is my very down-to-earth mother, whom my father has been photographing since sometime around the Kennedy administration.
 
I was a bit surprised yesterday (the man had just just driven four hours to visit me here in North Carolina this past weekend) to hear from my father ( I do talk with him over the telephone nearly every day) that he was piling Mother into the car and taking her  to Biltmore (which is about a two hour drive through the mountains?...and I always wonder why folks who live in the mountains drive to other places in the mountains...presumably, just because those places have better advertising?) to "See the rose gardens".
 
What's THAT about?.....I happen to hate driving or even being in a car.....but, to each his own.
 
That said?...my father asked if I would do a portrait of Mother from a photograph he seems to have recently taken.  So...here she is...at a radiant and ultra-chatty 75. She's still lovely, of course, but I should emphasize that, as far as I've ever gathered, she has NEVER given a good damn, one way or the other, about the way she looks.  The woman is not in the least vain (and she was, actually, quite beautiful when she was young; she just doesn't CARE about the issue).
 
Well...I thought it was sweet (a word I rarely use) of my father (who's no spring chicken, himself) to ask me to do this.....so I just did it, today.  Took two tries and a lot of time, but it'll be his birthday present come November.
 
Did I mention that my mother and father grew up (since ages 6 & 7) in the same East Tennessee orphanage?........she was a genuine orphan, and his mother was the divorced (SCANDAL!!!!!, more or less, in those days...most folks assumed she was a WWII widow) matron of the boys' dormitory.
 
I've never asked for specifics, but I'm under the impression that my parents have basically lived under the same roof for something around 9/10ths of their lives.  Dr. Freud would have a holiday with this information, I'm sure.
 
In case, she's pretty, and he's nice.  I like them both, so I did the painting today, for my father.
 
Go to (yet again, I played the same song over and over again while I worked on this particular picture; it's sung by Jim Malcolm, and, yes, there are fresh water pearls to be found in Scottish inlets....or at least there were, at one time...):
 
go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-gJou3b80k
 
Of all the mills that fill Dundee
There¹s no¹ a loom could harness me
The mill keeps clacking it¹s rare that it stills
But I¹ll soon be traipsing through the Sidlaw Hills
 
Come leave these dark mills and tramp wi me
Through the fields of Angus and roon by the Tay
We¹ll seek good loanins and work when we¹re keen
And we¹ll while summer evenings
fishing pearls frae the stream
 
Of all the birds that fill the sky
The cheerful lark is the hardest to spy
But the mill keeps clacking, I¹m choked wi the stoor
And I wish that we were camped by Kirriemuir
 
Come leave these dark mills and tramp wi me
Through the fields of Angus and roon by the Tay
We¹ll seek good loanins and work when we¹re keen
And we¹ll while summer evenings
fishing pearls frae the stream
 
Of all the months that fill the year
The cruel November fills my fear,
But the mill keeps clackin and winter¹s aroun¹
And we¹ll hae to find a job in Dundee toon.
 
Come leave these dark mills and tramp wi me
Through the fields of Angus and roon by the Tay
We¹ll seek good loanins and work when we¹re keen
And we¹ll while summer evenings
fishing pearls frae the stream