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Child and Mother

Child and Mother 1997 Dolores Marusarz

This is me at the age of thirteen months, with my mother, who was then 22 years old. I saw this picture of her and me after her death at the age of 68. For years before my mother's death I had been consciously struck by her unhappy attitude about life. It seemed to me that there were few if any things she actually enjoyed about living. It was all a struggle, worth being sad about. I spoke to her about it but she claimed she was not unhappy; yet, she rarely had a genuine smile on her face or joy in her eyes. One notable exception was her happiness upon hearing her favorite music, especially the opera. (One of the most wonderous things she taught me was to love opera as she did. Fortunately, I had the chance to take her to a live opera, the first in her life, just weeks before her death.) Most of her smiles were for show, and you could see that on photographs. In the photograph I used for this painting, however, I saw a genuine and rare look of delight and joy. I had to make a painting of it. I am sure that if she had lived to see this painting it would have helped her in some way to regain some of the happiness of that moment we had together.

This painting measures 18 X 24 inches and is painted in shades of ochre, umber, and white on a canvas that has been stretched on beveled wood. It is not for sale.

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