The service was at 4:00 pm. Betty’s loving family was there. And, her friends were there – art friends, film group friends, tennis friends, church friends, symphony volunteer friends. Living representations of her wide range of activities.
She had kept her life compartmentalized. Few of the non-art friends even knew she was an artist. The exhibit of her works blew them away. “I had no idea!,” many exclaimed. The strength of the work also amazed them. She had never become a “Name Artist”. But her work could stand up with many you would see in a museum. At the age of 88, she kept doing her artwork. Artists have to keep at it, recognition or not.
Such an amazing privilege be involved! I had spent a few days with her daughter-in-law, looking thru stacks and stacks of drawings and prints. I didn’t even know she had done printmaking! She worked in several media. We found a few self-portraits. Her self-portraits were fearless. Non-artists don’t understand why self-portraits don’t look like glamour shot photos. But true artists do not flinch from the evidence of the mirror.
The exhibit had to come down after the service was over. A shame it couldn’t have stayed up for a month!
I didn't take photos of the exhibit. I was so busy with the details of getting it together, I didn’t even remember my camera. I wish I could show you the mid-century modern sensibility of so much of her work. The intelligence of her mind, the sharpness of her observations.
At the age of 88, she had lived a rich, full life. She died in her own home, with hospice care, loving family at her side. “A good death,” the church pastor had said. If a death can indeed be “good”— yes hers was. She will be sorely missed by her family, by her friends. She is irreplaceable.
I have two of her drawings. She came to my lifedrawing open studio every Tuesday morning, unless sick or out of town. Occasionally, a model pulls a no-show. When that happens, I model. In deference to my husband, who would blow a gasket if I went full monty, I pose in sports bra and bike tights. Her are two of Betty’s drawings of me. In one, she draws me as if I were nude. The other, done perhaps a year later, keeps the clothing on. I think the earlier one is the stronger piece. But, only my opinion. I will treasure them both.