Friday, July 11, 2008

Treasured Object: Mom's Painting

Collecting oil paintings (mostly portraits) has been a hobby of mine for about ten years now, but this one is by far my favorite of my collection. My mother, LeJean, painted this around 1952, when she was attending college in UCA Arkansas in her hometown of Conway. She was taking a class from her own father's cousin, Gene Hatfield. This painting hung in my grandmother's house all of my life and, when she passed away recently, I was allowed to take it home with me. Taking the painting off the wall for the first time in over thirty years made me a bit sad, but I cherish this painting and it's the centerpiece of my living room. I've spent so much time looking at it and never get tired of it. It always makes me feel a bit remorseful though, because it's the only painting my mother ever did.

Gene Hatfield deserves an entry all his own. I'll be visiting cousin Gene this coming week, enjoying his folk-art environment yard with rocking horses in the trees, and listening to him spill family secrets. Maybe he and I can convince my mother to take up painting again.