This painting was inspired by a photo of my great-grandmother, auntie, grandmother, great-great-auntie and their church lady friends. I grew up in a small, unincorporated community outside a marginally larger town, so the people who are your friends as children are usually your friends your whole lives. These ladies were no exception, and neither am I. We are lucky like that.
We’ve had to say goodbye to most of these ladies over the years, and the ones still with us are in their late-80s, so time is a gift. I, like many in my generation, left home at 18 and only return sporadically. This gives time the illusion of stopping, then speeding up in fast-forward. I feel that the “Tacky Party” days were just yesterday, not 30+ years ago.
One of my favorite poets, Faith Shearin, articulates this feeling perfectly in her poem, “My Grandparents’ Generation.”
If there is a consolation prize for having so many wonderful people in our lives only to lose them, then it is that they are together wherever they are.