Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ode to the Green Thing and My Mom

Assuming I figured out how to do this correctly, this is a picture of the Green Thing, newly repainted. I'm sure you're asking, "What the heck is a Green Thing?!" As far back as I can remember it was a fixture in my home. It's a piece made from an old-fashioned cabinet for a radio. I think the front was more ornate and that was removed to make a frame for a mirror to hang above it, and doors were added to the front. I inherited the Green Thing shortly before my sweet mother died of ALS. I was visiting her at my sister's house, where she had gone to live, when she asked, "Who wants the Green Thing?" with a glint in her eye. "Not I!" said my sister, Big Red. Being the more sentimental sister, and knowing Big Brother was not at all sentimental, I said I'd love to have it.

I happily put the ugly antiqued green Green Thing in my foyer. It was kind of beat up after 10 years in storage and many years of use before that. While I hemmed and hawed about refinishing it, the decision was made for me when someone, who shall remain nameless, put something on it that took off the top layer of green and left an unsightly blue smudge on it! So, I resolved to put a new finish on it. However, I couldn't strip it down to the bare wood and continue to call it The Green Thing. Or paint it any other color and call it The Green Thing. And it was most unthinkable to name it anything else. So, as you can see, The Green Thing it remains. Albeit a much nicer color, with repainted silver knobs instead of bronze, and a bright spa blue interior. Yes, the interior was blue. I had the hardest time repainting that because, after all, no one sees it and it bore the remnants of my mother's life as an artist. When she lived in Virginia 10 years ago, before she put her things in storage and went to take care of Grandmother for her remaining years (which have yet to come to a close!), Mom used it in her studio to hold her paints and paintbrushes and left traces of turpentine on it. Sadly, I did choose to paint over those marks, but I have many other more beautiful reminders of her life as an artist. Like this one....


  1. I think it's great that your mom was an artist and there are things she actually made to hold on to. Interestingly, I have a very cool picture my mom painted, but it was from when she was a little girl. It is a really neat painting nonetheless.

    Of my brother and I, I am the sentimental one. I have almost all the cool arty prints from Long Island that my mom had framed and which hung in the houses I grew up in. Pretty much in every room of my house is a reminder of my sweet mama. I will never stop missing her.

  2. Beautiful painting.
    Beautiful Green thing!!!
    I LOVE green!!!

    I have an old Round Ice Box that my mother "collected" which is one of my "projects" for this summer...
    Mom stripped layers of paint off the outside YEARS ago, but there is still lead paint on the inside.
    We plan to put it out on the porch to USE as a cooler for parties!
    Blessings, EJT

  3. I love the green thing. I think that pieces like that have so much character and history. Kudos to you for deciding to keep it green.

    The painting by your mother is just beautiful.


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