I got the call at 5:38am this morning that my grandmother has passed away.
It wasn't sudden, in fact it's been one of the reasons I've been pretty... absent and distracted lately. I was able to say my final goodbye to her last weekend (Thanksgiving weekend) even though she was unconscious at the time. The last time I truly saw *her* was when we celebrated my birthday at my parents house last month.
My grandmother was an artist. Among other things, she was a regional president of PAC (Porcelain Artists of Canada) for a while, won prizes for the antique replica dolls* that she made, and she taught for many years, only retiring a couple years ago when her eyesight had deteriorated too far.
She also taught me, my older sister, and our younger cousins how to paint, draw, sculpt and use other art mediums when we were little kids.
She was an amazing woman and I doubt I'd be writing if she hadn't first introduced me to art, beauty, attention to detail and hard work.
I have many of her works, currently wrapped in packing paper and carefully stored in the basement of 'the witch's hut'.
I am thankful that she has left so many reminders of her life and her passion, not only the physical works themselves, but the skills that she instilled within her students and grandchildren.
Porcelain painting is one of those dying arts, but this makes me want to unwrap the kiln in my basement and dig through boxes to find my paints and brushes.
I wonder if, in remembering her, I can remember the proper brushstroke for a leaf or rose petal.
*just a further note, you probably wouldn't believe what kind of work goes into these at a professional level. Every single eyelash and eyebrow hair has to be accounted for and in a precise location, the blend of paint is examined with a magnifying glass, and the raw porcelain has to be hand filed/sanded before you can even begin. All the clothes also have to be hand-made according to very specific guidelines.