Just 2 Artists Blog

  • Nell

Painting Our Way Back to Tennessee: A Mother/Daughter Reunion (of sorts)

Updated: Apr 25, 2019

Before revealing what we're doing for Mother's Day this year, I want to share a story that I posted to our Facebook page last year... the story of how I became a painter.

terracotta crock filled with flowers, mother daughter artists, floral art
My mom's gift to me (top) and my rendition (bottom)

"My mom, Libby Perkins, was an artist. She mixed her paints on an aluminum tray, which I suspect was originally meant for food as it had shallow compartments similar to some Styrofoam plates. I was fascinated with that tray and relished peeling dried blobs of paint from it. I stored the blobs in a shoe box because they seemed too lovely to throw away. Some I glued to a sheet of typing paper, arranging them in the shape of a peace sign. Mom entered that thing in the Warren County Fair and it actually won a blue ribbon.

On my twelfth birthday, Mom called me into her bedroom to tell me she'd been feeling too sick to shop for a present and that she would like to give me one of her paintings as a gift.

Above her bed was a painting of a terracotta crock filled with flowers. She took it down and wrote on the back "To Marynell Perkins, given to her by her mother." She dated it, then hung it back on the wall for safe keeping. Thirty seven days later, Dad woke us up very early in the morning to tell us Mom had died during night.

Among Mom's belongings was an old tackle box filled with partially used tubes of acrylic paint, a bunch of brushes and an easel. I latched onto those items and began what proved to be, for many years, a love/hate relationship with painting. You see, I wasn't painting because I loved to paint. I was painting because I loved my mom. There's a huge difference. It took me a long time to recognize that and come to terms with it. By that time, I was totally in love with the process of painting in and of itself. I've no doubt that was my mom's wish for me all along."

I don't know why my mom started painting, but we lived in the charming town of McMinnville, Tennessee at the time. My nephew Jason, who lives there still, thought it would be wonderful for me to return there for an art show... of both my paintings and my mom's. I am so deeply touched by his idea I can hardly stand it! So that's how Matt and I will be celebrating Mother's Day this year!

Stephanie Fish has graciously offered up her awesome studio, The Doodle Fish, for our mother/daughter show. If you are in the area, we sure hope you'll stop by.

Show Location: The Doodle Fish Studio, 102 W. Main St., McMinnville, TN 37110

Show Dates/Time: May 10th and 11th, 2019

Show Times: 6-9 pm

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