Holy Grandma Moses!

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About a year ago, while I was still busy illegal alienating and expatriating myself abroad, my mom sent me an e-mail in which she casually mentioned that she had taken up a new hobby.

I was immediately wary, because when my sisters and I were little, some of my mom’s hobbies had included activities that some might have viewed as being a bit odd for a seemingly sweet and innocent young mother of four young girls.

Like target shooting.

Scarier still was the poor buggers targets they shot at, and the fact that my mom won the trophy for best shot in the entire district several years in a row! If the people in the small town where we grew up had been any more clued up about musicals and theatrical references, my mom, with her red hair, surely would have been nicknamed Annie Oakley.

Needless to say, I was almost too afraid to ask what on earth she had decided was stimulating enough to take up in order to liven up her retirement age.

“Painting.” She replied.

“Painting what?” I asked, still suspicious. “Houses? Skyscrapers?” And then, a terrifying and therefore very likely thought occurred to me: “Bridges and overpasses? Oh, no, Mom! Please tell me that you have NOT decided to become a graffiti artist!”

She laughed. “No, you silly girl! Painting, as in art!”

“OH!” My relief must’ve been evident. And since my mom had until then never even drawn a picture in her life, I added, in what I thought was a suitably encouraging tone but probably ended up sounding more like an adult does whenever looking at a toddler’s art works: “That’s very nice, Mom. Send me some of your pictures!”

“Mom’s painting.” My sister e-mailed me a few months later.

“Yes, I’ve heard. That’s so cute.” I replied, half distracted.

And then I promptly forgot about my mom’s artistic endeavours.

Until my return to South Africa on Christmas Day last year.

Jet-lagged and traumatised, I arrived at my sister’s house.

And saw this:

Grandma Moses.jpg

When I was told that my MOM had painted it, I realised: "Holy Grandma Moses! My mom is an artist!" (Not that she has not revealed her artistic side before. She has always been an excellent seamstress - she made all our matric farewell (prom, to the Yanks) dresses and two of my sisters' wedding dresses - and she's a brilliant cook and a skilled interior decorator. But this is her first attempt at drawing and painting.)

Grandma Moses 2.jpg

Grandma Moses 3.jpg

Grandma Moses 4.jpg

Grandma Moses 5.jpg
By Georgia O'Keefe, but she is good, isn't she?

Here's what you'll see if you come to South Africa and decide to stay in one of my sister's three lovely self-catering guest cottages situated here in the heart of the South African wineland (website to be completed soon, right web gods?):

Grandma Moses 6.jpg

Grandma Moses 7.jpg

Grandma Moses 8.jpg

Sadly, I only inherited the red hair and none of my mom's looks OR these skills. So imagine how brutal it's going to be for me to try and make her a Mother's Day card from now on!?

Now I'll just have to tell her what the headmaster told me long ago, when I miraculously passed my audition and entrance exam to the Pretoria High School for the Performing and Visual Arts: "Young lady, don't think just because you are artistically inclined and have been accepted into this school that it's some sort of passport for you to be all WEIRD now!"

Updated to say: My aunt (Mom's sister) also took up painting in HER retirement age and the two sisters are really, really talented. My sisters and I want them to sell their work, so if anyone is interested in possibly seeing anything for sale on here, let me know. (Sadly, none of the above are for sale. Well, they COULD be, but I don't think my sister would appreciate it if I sold it straight off her walls!)

9 Comments

Annika said:

Oh my god, those are amazing. I want one! (What I really want is the ability to do that myself, but HAHAHAHAHAHA.)

redsaid said:

I know, right? We've told her to sell it. Actually, that reminds me, I should quickly edit this post a bit.

deeleea said:

I want the red poppies one... Or one like it.. iIf of course you sell to Australia.

And... do you need help with the website?? (though I'm more of a web goddess... or Web Princess, actually.)

Christine said:

Pssst... you have a site - it is right here! :D

Annika said:

Finances allowing (this, sadly, changes on a seemingly daily basis) I would totally buy one. (The fourth is my favorite. I know IT isn't for sale, but I'd buy something similar.)

TimT said:

I admire your mother's tenacity. If I'd had to sit there in front of fruit and paint them, my mouth would be watering so much after one minute that I'd have to pick up one of them and start eating.

I feel hungry just looking up at the still life above.

miked said:

I'm impressed. Isn't amazing how parents can still shock their kids with what they can do?

and yeah, like Annika... if I could afford it, I'd buy one... but sadly at this point in time I can't even afford to buy lunch

Lisa said:

WOW! Your Mom's an incredible artist!

Hannah said:

LOL My mom always came up with strange hobbies, I remember being rather indignant with her when I was 5 for bringing me to school on a motorcycle and learning to rollerblade. Now in my learned wisdom (LOL!) I realize that it's actually kind of cool... besides when she's making beer and making the whole house stink, she makes the most wonderful chocolate fudge!

Anyway, what I actually wanted to say was that the pictures are absolutely amazing. I'd love to buy one (if they were ever for sale) but I'm afraid the shipping costs to the Netherlands would be prohibitive...

Oh, well, very cool!

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about
is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
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comments
  • Hannah : LOL My mom always came up with strange hobbies, I remember being rather indignant with her when I wa... [go]
  • Lisa : WOW! Your Mom's an incredible artist!... [go]
  • miked : I'm impressed. Isn't amazing how parents can still shock their kids with what they can do? and yea... [go]
  • TimT : I admire your mother's tenacity. If I'd had to sit there in front of fruit and paint them, my mouth ... [go]
  • Annika : Finances allowing (this, sadly, changes on a seemingly daily basis) I would totally buy one. (The fo... [go]
  • Christine : Pssst... you have a site - it is right here! :D... [go]
  • deeleea : I want the red poppies one... Or one like it.. iIf of course you sell to Australia. And... do you ... [go]
  • redsaid : I know, right? We've told her to sell it. Actually, that reminds me, I should quickly edit this post... [go]
  • Annika : Oh my god, those are amazing. I want one! (What I really want is the ability to do that myself, but ... [go]
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