Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Meandering her way back home-

                                Pear by the window- Acrylic on canvas- 8 x 8 inches

So, I am much more like my mother that I ever imagined. My mother was all about flowers.
I have an image of her watering  daisies in our garden, while listening to  Chopin's Preludes. I very clearly remember the cover of that vinyl record , it was a painting
of a woman siting next to a  large bouquet of flowers (Degas, 'Woman With Chrysanthemums'). Her head is leaning on her hand. She is looking away from the flowers, lost in some private reverie. My mother and that painting are completely merged in my mind.
What did I start off saying? Yes, now I paint flowers, and I don't think it's a phase...
Maybe I miss my mother terribly because she is so far away. Maybe I miss being that little
girl wondering what on earth my mother was thinking about when she was lost in her Chopin
Do you think we all start becoming more like our mother's when we hit fifty? Is that
what 'maturity' is all about?
When I graduated from art school I went off to live in Skopelos ( most gorgeous island in the Aegean)
I wanted to live quietly and be a landscape artist. I loved a fully loaded brush and lots of wild
gestural strokes. I loved colour and intense contrasts. Probably too wild and too intense then.
I remember I sold a painting at a hotel that was being renovated, and a little kid came by
and commented on the 'volcano' in the painting. Hmm. (it was a tree...) It's probably all for the best that this particular period in my artistic career ended with the arrival of my first children...
My last big landscape took over three moths to paint, I was working in oils ,and I had the most
charming little studio in the village. Just one room, the front door opening up to a small courtyard where the neighborhood kids run around and played. I had a BFF for a neighbor, she and I seemed to be having babies at exactly the same time... Well, I had a baby in the play pen chewing on everything but her toys, a baby in the tummy and that was it with oils. I  switched to watercolors and gave the studio up. ( Sigh...)I then gave up on the island altogether because I wanted my kids to get the best education I could offer them. And my marriage fell apart, which made a difference as well.(hmm ...again)
Why am I writing all this? I am back painting lush and colourful but hopefully much quieter, and this time in acrylics-I have learned the merits of 'restraint' since- (the hard way..)  I have put the watercolors aside, and picked up the acrylics- my three older children are on their way, soon moving out to their own places-Lucy will have to endure a mother who is a full time painter and listens to lots of Chopin- Recently, I went through a phase where all my limitations ( as an artist) suddenly were so too painfully 'in my face'-I had to buckle up or bust- Good thing I do know how to buckle up!
Ok. I will go take a hike now and be back soon. It seems like I have lots to tell, and lots to paint.

Annamaria Potamiti


Carole Reid said...

My mother and I look alike and sound alike. Everyone has told me so even when I was little. As a teenager I hated it but now at 55 I feel pleased with the idea.

Thank you for sharing your story. These paintings have an easy flow to them. Take care.

renilde said...

Hello Annamaria, i wondered where you were and i somehow missed your previous post.Thanks for your story, i have that love for flowers and gardening from my mother too, and it has always felt as a big present. A garden to me is a place to forget about everything and be totally absorbed by... yes colour and form,scent, i enter a different world , the voices in my head become silent and things slowly move to a balance again, i am at peace with myself and the world again. I rarely paint flowers but they are an inspiration, my garden inspires me, making me dream, bringing me visions and pictures that i paint.
From time to time i have that feeling that i am just wasting paper. That it is all too bright,of no intrest and 'what do i think i'm doing?' But it passes and i know i can't do without, it's a way of living and that the search will go on.
I love the birds, keep making all these beatiful paintings, xx

annamaria potamiti said...

Thank you Carole- It's fascinating how our relationships with our mother eveolve over the years...I don't look like my mom at all,but one of my daugters looks very much like me and it is an odd thing isn't? Seeing someone so close being a mirror in so many ways-x

annamaria potamiti said...

Hi Renilde, so happy you dropped by. Yes, I very often have that feeling as well- I am wating paper and canvas and paints and all- but that seems to be the only way to move forward...-xxx

Anonymous said...

Thanks for telling a little of your story. It's interesting to hear more about you. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the bird painting in the new banner :)

Kim Baise said...

beautiful painting! i do love all the vibrant rich color.
wow! i see myself slowly morphing into my mother too!!!
we planted sunflower seeds but they are not blooming yet...
can't wait for them to open up

Kylie said...

What a wonderful post Annamaria :) I loved reading it and I love your new acrylics too. There's a lushness to them that is so gorgeous. It's so great seeing that others go through this process of trying to define the self and work out where they are going, part of which comes from where we've been. Thanks for sharing this :) Kx

K R I S T I I N A said...

Yehaa- nothing we like to hear but it might be one of the truths of life that we are becoming like our parents. I am a lot like my mother even though I really don´t want to admit it but hopefully I have adopted the nicer parts of the personality...hihi
yes- lovely flowers!!!- Can´t live without them! Your painting was colorful and vivid.
The reason I write to you is because you are one of the artists I started to follow since I started my own blog so it is interesting to see your work progress when the time goes on. The work methods change and there is always something going on. This excites me a bit. So you won´t get rid of me. haha.
See ya again.

Laura said...

i think going back to where we were is one of the more difficult things to experience either in our art or in our life. evaluation is never easy(especially with perfectionists). but, i think you have shown in these paintings that being honest and true to yourself is well worth it. beautiful.