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“Matriarch” ⠀

Back in August, my Nana passed away. (Woah Lisa, way to break us in gently). She was 90 and suffered from dementia, so we can’t say it was unexpected. But what I didn’t expect was the profound change I felt after. ⠀

They always say when you’re about to pass, your whole life will flash before you eyes. But when my mum called me to tell me the news about my Nan, that happened to me. ⠀

I flashed back to every childhood memory, every adventure, my first car (my second and third car for that matter), our move to Canada, endless holidays. There aren’t many things in life that I can say would have happened without my Nan. ⠀

She was business woman. She understood a system that not many woman during her time did, and she worked her ass off to provide for her family. She was the thriftiest person I’ve ever known. (And the ketchup packets in my cutlery draw are a constant reminder of that). ⠀

Even when the inevitable day came that she had to move in to a home, she went and popped her clogs just days before she had to start paying for it. She was a genius, even when her body was against her. The foundation my Nana left for me and my family is endless. ⠀

I didn’t choose to paint a memorial piece for my Nan. But when I came across this image by @edwin_butter_fotografie , I didn’t have a choice. I didn’t know anything about this animal, all I knew was that something in the way she looks reminded me of my Nan. ⠀

The way she is hunched over, in a position where her body looks tired, but where her eyes tell a thousand stories, totally captured me. ⠀

This painting reflects those last few years. Where her body may have given up, but she reminds us that she is still that feisty, money-making, money-saving, thrifty, sassy and fiercely independent matriarch that raised us. ⠀