Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Mother's Table"
14" x 11"
Watercolor

Having grown up in New England and tracing ancestors to the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, I am steeped in Thanksgiving traditions. The day was filled with family and a lovely turkey dinner. When I moved with my young family to California, this was the day that I missed our extended family the very most. Eventually, after fits and starts, we developed our own Thanksgiving traditions in sunny California.

The boys grew up and moved back to my home state of Vermont. My husband passed away 11 years ago and a few years later Bob and his girls came into my life. Time for new traditions. A few years passed and with daughters and sons spread out across the USA, it was time to build new celebrations. For the past half dozen years, Bob and I have gone to the coast to have dinner at a Capitola institution, the Shadowbrook Restaurant. We don't even order turkey dinners, but rather enjoy other specialties offered -- baked brie with jalapeno sauce, creamy artichoke soup, roast beef, and mud pie were my choices this year. Needless to say, we had to walk for a bit before settling back into the car for the drive home over the mountains on a spectacular sunny day.

Tonight I grabbed my watercolors and painted the centerpiece on our dining table. The candle holder that friend Pam gave me one year, a real favorite, and gourds from Spina's Farm Stand two miles down the road are festive at this time of year. After struggling to master other mediums -- pastels and acrylics -- watercolors are home to me. A nice simple still life from a high eye level and my delicious watercolors and brushes made for a lovely few hours as Bob practiced his flute music for the advent season.

Here's to your special Thanksgiving traditions.

8 comments:

Charlene Brown said...

Mary, This is a wonderful story about your new Thanksgiving traditions. I'm glad you've had a lovely day topped off with a lovely painting. Thank you for sharing.

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mary, I particularly like your strong, alternating curves in this composition. I'm thinking of the curve in the candlestick contrasting with the curve of the gourd. Nice movement!

You're the second person I have met that has roots to the Mayflower. The other was a childhood friend. Mom's family goes back pre-revolutionary, but not as far back as the Mayflower! It was fun reading about your family.
Baked brie with jalapenos sauce followed by asparagus soup; divine. Was it white asparagus?

Claire M said...

I really enjoyed seeing your Thanksgiving painting. It is wonderful to have a day to remind us to reflect over our many blessings and the paths that we've traveled. Many blessings to you and Bob. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Marie Theron said...

A precious picture which will become a family heirloom!

Mary Paquet said...

Charlene, thanks for your kind comments. Traditions are special.

Peggy, I very much appreciate your comments on design from such a master of design. The soup was based on the more common green asparagus and very delicious! With the creamy base, it had a lovely pale avocado color. makes me wish I had taken photos for future paintings.

Claire, I love how these special days give us time to reflect on life's journey and our blessings.

Marie, the art will always bring back these lovely memories.

Mary Paquet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbra Joan said...

Mary, what a wonderful peek into your traditional then not so traditional Thanksgiving. And ending your day by painting and lucky you being seranaded with the flute!!

Mary Paquet said...

Barbra Joan, good to hear from you. I am very lucky to have a wonderful musician in the house -- our arts are very complementary!