What ALL My Mother’s Taught Me!

My Artist Mothers

I am fortunate that I am legacy to many talented women, who were all my Mothers! Beginning two generations back my Grandmother, my father’s mother, was a beautiful watercolor artist. Also, my aunt, again on my father’s side, was a very talented pianist. My other Grandmother, on my mother’s side, was a beautiful Seamtress who made beautiful children’s clothes and exquisite quilts. And finally, there is my mother, who was my biggest inspiration of all. I was certainly blessed with much generational talent and grateful for all that they contributed in helping me find mine.

A watercolor painting depicting "Motherhood" painted by my late grandmother in 1909.

A watercolor painting depicting “Motherhood” painted by my late grandmother, Doliska, in 1909.

My Most Important Mother

My own mother inspired me the most as she was in my life the longest and not only was an artist/painter but she was also an artist in the garden. She had the greenest thumb I knew and could make anything she put in the ground grow and bloom. She loved her garden and taught me so much in landscape design and about plants and what plants grew well in certain areas. We were not wealthy in terms of having a lot of money, but we were rich in making things beautiful with very little. When I was young, we moved to northwestern Alabama where we built our first home. My mother sprigged every piece of grass and planted every flower. She was a master at propagating and dividing plants, and I personally witnessed a blank canvas come to life with my mother’s own bare hands– Gladiolas, irises, tulips, amaryllis and much much more. This was the beginning of me loving flowers and making things grow. When we later moved to Florida, and with her new found love of the water, ultimately, inspired her to pick up a paintbrush for the first time. She began painting her garden, beach scenes, and places she had been in her many travels. I watched her bring all of this to each painting and now causes me to remember all of her past loves.

A still life in oil titled "Kitchen Bounty" hangs in my kitchen as a reminder of my mother's love of cooking.

A still life in oil titled “Kitchen Bounty” hangs proudly in my kitchen as a reminder of my mother’s love of cooking.

We are coming up on the 10th anniversary of her transition, and I still feel her presence often. This Mother’s Day inspired me to honor and commemorate her life as it truly affected mine and my art journey. She encouraged me when I first started painting and continued as a true mentor for me on so many aspects of the craft. She was also my greatest critic. She did not mince words…but looking back, she was the BEST teacher I could have had and for whom I now use as my pseudonym for my art business, FayBecca Designs. I was also the lucky recipient of her large easel.

I inherited my mother's easel which I continue to use every time I paint.

I inherited my mother’s easel which I continue to use every time I paint.

In the beginning, I could feel her in the room watching me and sometimes so strongly that the hair of the back of my neck would stand up. I could feel her words and guidance. Now I do not feel her as much and I may not be able to pick up the phone and call her anymore, or sit and watch her paint or work in her garden, but the echo of her voice and her kind advice will never leave me. I know one thing for sure, she will always be there in spirit, watching me and cheering me on. I am so grateful for the love and guidance and proud to have had her as my mom.

After moving near the beach in north Florida, she painted many beach scenes that depicted the Emerald Coast of Florida.

After moving near the beaches in northwest Florida panhandle, my mother Fay, painted many beach scenes that depicted the Emerald Coast of Florida.

Did your Mother inspire you or share a gift you will never forget? I would love to hear your story!