I was thinking this morning of how unconventional a woman my mother was. She was born in 1910. She went to nursing school and became a career woman in a time when most women married instead of furthering their education. She built a house in Wauwatosa. She bought a car and took her driving test in downtown Milwaukee. Her words "I didn't need a man to support me" still ring in my ears. She met my father and wasn't particularly impressed...at first. Then they married and had 5 children and they both worked full time while we all grew up. Unheard of in the 50's and 60's.
Television shows from the '50s had a very negative impact on me. Donna Reed and Father Knows Best gave the impression that normal was having your mother stay home, do all the housework, cook fabulous meals, and never, ever work to help support the family. I wished for a life like that when I was younger and had small children....and thank goodness, didn't get it. As a result, I am able to support myself, and although I'm happily married now, if something, God forbid, should happen to my wonderful husband, I wouldn't have to worry about the basic necessities. Those TV shows, in my opinion, tempered my independence. What kind of artist/person would I have been if I had followed my mother's example? Would I have been more unconventional than she was? Would my "I want to do it MY WAY" personality have come out in my paintings sooner and with more impact? I'll never know for sure. And how will this self revelation change the way I paint now?