MARY SMITHER 1972
1230 X 940, Oil on board.
Collection - Christchurch Art Gallery.
My mothers face began to turn into a landscape as she got older. It was a dignified stage before the skin began to decay in a rest home.
Here she wears a cloche hat, a bit like a World War II German helmet and the little pearls I gave her from my first pay cheque.
Art historians will no doubt be happy to add this work to the ever growing list of painting, by artists, of their mother.
In retrospect this painting bears strong resemblance to paintings by Tretchikoff of elegantly lit Asian ladies on the walls of Stella's coffee house in New Plymouth, around 1960. Then the height of fashion, they were within a decade to disappear from general view, replaced by more 'with it imagery'.
Ironically, at the time of making the print of Mary Smither, I've noticed a return of Tretchikoffs to the walls of the younger generation. Rescued from second hand shops and in some cases reused as 'borrowed' images in completely new guises.
"Roll over Beethoven".
Michael Smither CNZM
Edition of 48
Size 455 x 600