Four Green Bowls

Green Bowls by Elaine Brady Smith

“Four Green Bowls” by Elaine Brady Smith, 9 x 12 oil on panel

Sometimes life requires us to take a totally different road than the one we were planning to take. Sometimes life sneaks up behind us and whacks us off our feet and makes us wonder what the hell happened. Sometimes life becomes so unfamiliar and strange.

I am in that strange and unfamiliar place in life right now. I have lost four beloved family members in the past 3 years, 3 in the past 4 months. I know that I am mourning all 4 of them at the same time and it will take some time to move through this darkness. Nothing feels normal right now and I don’t know when normal is coming back.

After my mother passed away two weeks ago, I needed to do something to take my mind away from my grief. I had these 4 green bowls sitting in the basement, ready to go to the thrift shop. They are simple bowls, Cheap ceramic from the dollar store. I stacked them up and slid a doily underneath, got my oil paints out and started painting. Now what is weird is that I have not painted with oils or painted realistically for many years, but this felt normal and it flowed easily out of me and onto the canvas. It felt good and positive.

After doing abstract art for so many years, I don’t know if doing this one realistic painting can be called a shift in my work. I don’t know what the next painting will be. I only know that there will be a next painting and another one after that. Painting is good and it is helping me to heal, so I will keep on painting. What comes out remains to be seen.

So right now, I offer up these four green bowls. Each a vessel to hold my love. Love for my father, my mother, my mother-in-law, and my dear younger brother. May they all rest in peace and may they all be with me and the rest of my family as we struggle to find normal again.