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Pansies – loving thoughts

Two paintings, each measuring 11″ x 14″ the one on the left is sold. For some reason, they appear on my computer screen more blue and less red than in real life.

From the language of flowers, Pansies – loving thoughts and attraction – known also as ‘hearts ease’, this pretty flower was believed to heal love problems. Anyone wanting to ensure they were loved by their sweethearts would carry a pansy.

I have been painting Pansies all week, inspired by another artist who was using Pansies to work on washes. But that’s not what is so strange about me painting Pansies.

This week, unbidden, loving thoughts have come into my mind. I was thinking about how wonderful the rapport between my uncle Ben and my two sons was when they got together last spring during my stepfather’s memorial service. My uncle and my mother only had daughters. They had to wait another generation for some boys. It was just so sweet to see the three of them all standing in a row, all about the same size, happy in knowing each other.

And another memory, of my son Josiah, who, when confronted with my grandmother’s sorrow at losing her uncle, told her (at the age of 3) “I will be your uncle.” And from that point on, at least in my mind, he always was.

I grew up thinking that my father did not really speak Italian. I found out after he died that his first language had been Italian, that when he started school at the age of seven years, he had only known Italian (no wonder he was such a poor student). This was a disappointment to me, the loss of countless chances to talk to him about Italian, a language I now struggle with daily. But this week, it came unbidden, a memory of me, a small child, sitting with my father; he teaching me a simple phrase in Italian; “Dammi un bacio” – “give me a kiss.” How rare and precious – an innocent childhood memory – it is very infrequent at my age that new ones surface. And so I called my cousin Rosalee, and asked her; do you remember, my father speaking Italian? “Of course,” she responded “he talked to his mother in Italian all the time” And then I remembered, that secret grownup language. I did remember him speaking Italian! They used Italian when they didn’t want us kids to know what they were talking about.

Pansies are a really interesting flower. They come in many shapes, sizes and colors. And they have faces. If you don’t get the emphasis right, the flower just seems to fade away. And if you start painting them, and if you’re open to it, the fog of forgetfulness will dissipate and sweet memories will come in.

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  1. April 1st, 2011 at 10:46 | #1

    Maddy,
    I think you have some of he best memories I have ever heard! The Pansies are so cheerfull and not to mention, so well executed.

  2. April 1st, 2011 at 09:57 | #2

    Mimi, I wanted to thank you for posting your lovely comment on my blog the other day…and glad you did..because now I get to see your work and lovely writings. Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed the pansies and your thoughts.

  3. March 25th, 2011 at 14:32 | #3

    What a wonderful post and thank you for sharing it with us!

  4. admin
    March 25th, 2011 at 06:33 | #4

    worked for me, Sue! it’s the strangest thing.

  5. March 25th, 2011 at 01:43 | #5

    Lovely thoughts and beautiful paintings.

    I’m on a slump, unmotivated, but should do something new soon. Maybe I should paint some pansies to feel happier???

  6. J.G.
    March 24th, 2011 at 07:18 | #6

    Mimi, what wonderful memories! Love your paintings – and your writing!

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