Wonderful female painters
Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses). 1860-1961
Sugaring Off (uncertain date).
The wonderful story of Grandma Moses is the one we will always remember when we listen to the phrase “I’m too old to start over again.”
Grandma Moses, an American painter, started painting at age of 70, when due to arthritis, she had to abandon what had been her occupation for many years: embroidery.
Likewise Henri Rousseau, the best-known naive painter in history, who also started painting late, after 40, she had no academic instruction and acquired a naive, primitive style —we could also say “childish”, as a compliment— of unmatched freshness.
Naive painting is usually self-taught and involves little concern for perspective, proportion or volume. The secret is not technical virtuosity, but being “authentic.”
The drawing of Grandma Moses is extremely simple and her compositions are, on the contrary, quite “complicated.” Sometimes they are crowded with characters such as the well-known scenes that Bruegel the Elder painted. They represent costumbrist scenes —nostalgic memories of her childhood and youth— from the rural areas of New York and Virginia.
She lived and worked on the farm her entire life. A life that was not easy or so joyous every day. That is why we may say that in addition to being naive, her paintings are romantic. Romantic because she idealized those memories, she represented them as a golden age. She even eliminated everything related to the advances of industrialization.
Although artistic careers tend to go slowly and Grandma Moses had not so much time left, she achieved a lot of success in life. She managed to capture the attention, admiration and love of art collectors around the world. And she became so popular that on her 100th birthday, the governor of New York proclaimed the day of her birth as the “Grandma Moses Day.”
Grandma Moses got up to paint at six thirty in the morning. And between the ages of 100 and 101 —the last of her luminous life— she painted 25 works.
“Anyone can paint. All you have to do is represent a painting in your mind and then transfer it to the canvas with the brushes.” So simple. Enthusiasm, joy and youth, at whatever age you are.
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