A Tribute to the Women I Admire- (5) – Grandma Moses
March 8 is International Women’s Day. So this week March 5-10, I will present a tribute to some of the women-artists that I admire for their great passion, dedication and conviction.I have made these tribute portraits in the form of artist trading cards – 2.5″ x 3.5″. I believe the word about the life and works of these women-artists have to be spread as shining examples.
|“Grandma’s Good Day’s Work”
A Portrait of Grandma Moses
a hardworking woman
& her creative pursuit in old age
a digital collage by Paulina Constancia
Grandma Moses is the answer to whether or not one is too old to try new things or pursue one’s dreams. Who knows where it’ll take you? Anna Mary Robertson picked up the brush at age 76 and it endeared her as America’s most admired painting grandma. She said, “I look out the window sometimes to seek the color of the shadows and the different greens in the trees, but when I get ready to paint I just close my eyes and imagine a scene.”
This is what art critics say about her work, “In Grandma Moses’s paintings there is no despair, unhappiness, or aging, yet this unrealistic view of life is presented with remarkable power.”
|Here are the photos I used to create Grandma’s collage
The Life & Works of Grandma Moses
Grandma Moses (1860-1961) was one of America’s best-known primitive painters (artists who did not receive a formal art education).
Anna Mary’s youth
Anna Mary Robertson was born in Greenwich, New York, on September 7, 1860, the third of ten children born to Russell King Robertson, a farmer, and Margaret Shannahan. She had a happy childhood and worked hard on their family farm. Her father enjoyed seeing the children’s drawings and would buy them large sheets of blank newspaper upon which they could draw. The young Anna Mary loved to draw happy, colorful scenes. She only attended school in the summer due to the cold and her lack of warm clothing. At twelve she began earning her living as a hired girl at homes near the family farm.
In 1887 Anna Mary married a farm worker, Thomas S. Moses, and the couple settled on a farm in Virginia. They had ten children, five of whom died at birth. In 1907 the family moved to Eagle Bridge, New York, where Grandma Moses spent the rest of her life.
It was on this farm in Eagle Ridge that Anna Mary painted her first painting. She was wallpapering her parlor and ran out of paper. To finish the room she put up white paper and painted a scene. It is known as the Fireboard, and it hangs today in the Bennington Museum in Bennington, Vermont. Her husband died in 1927, and her son and daughter-in-law took over the farm. As she aged and found farm work too difficult, Grandma Moses took up embroidering pictures in yarn to fill her spare time. At the age of seventy-six, because of arthritis, she gave up embroidery and began to paint. Her early work was usually based on scenes she found in illustrated books and on Currier and Ives prints (prints made during the 1800s, showing American lives, historical events, and celebrities).
In 1938 Grandma Moses’s paintings were discovered by an art collector and engineer, Louis Caldor. He saw a few of her paintings displayed in the window of a drug store in Hoosick Falls, New York, while on vacation. He purchased these, and the next day he bought all the paintings Grandma Moses had at her farm. In October of 1939, three of these paintings were exhibited at the “Contemporary Unknown Painters” show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Her first one-woman show was held in New York City in 1940 and immediately she became famous. Her second one-woman show, also in New York City, came two years later. By 1943 there was an overwhelming demand for her pictures, partially because her homespun, country scenes brought about wonderful feelings and memories for many people.
“Life is what we make it,
always has been, always will be.”