Kathleen Huddle

"Mama With A Blue Face," oil on canvas,
48" x 38" by Kathleen Huddle.

Once on a nature show I saw an exhausted lioness nursing her cubs.  The frazzled lioness looked totally spent; she got up and just walked away with the cubs hanging off her teats until the cubs finally fell off.  This might seem harsh, but I completely identified with that lioness.  I wanted to wean everyone off me so I could have some uninterrupted creative time.

While I loved being a mother and I adored my family, that was not to say I never got weary.

Molly, one of my twins, was usually so good, but there was one day Megan and Molly fed off each other in terms of wildness.  They ran, jumped and fell.  "Don't," I pleaded.  "Be careful," I implored.  "Stop!" I ordered.  But they were drunk with rebellion.

Molly said to me, Mommy.  I'm a kid.  This is what I do."

I reprimanded them all day until I was blue in the face.  "Blue in the face" was an expression my mother always used while correcting her children; now I understood its true meaning.

Alice Neel, a painter whom I admired, made a watercolor sketch of how she felt when her children were small and she painted an extra leg on herself, which she said was to help her chase her children.  Alice Neel's painting and Mama's expression inspired me to paint Mama With A Blue Face, which is a self-portrait with Megan and Molly on their wild day.  Instead of twins, I painted three figures of Megan and three figures of Molly because I swore they were multiplying.  I painted an extra leg on myself too and I wore running shoes with wings in order to fly with my twins.  The background is a swirling vortex of purple--the color of insanity.  And, of course, I painted my face blue.

Mama With A Blue Face isn't a polished work; it's imperfect and off-center, kind of like my life.  I painted it rapidly in one session as I recalled my fatigue and frustration.  I'm fond of the expressive painting because it's a record of a wild day with twins and the work exudes raw emotion tinted with humor.

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Mama With A Blue Face is a creative non-fiction memoir in which Huddle has unspooled the last 20 years of her mothering career, beginning with the birth of her twins.

Huddle, a visual artist, has packed Mama With a Blue Face with her original, full-color images of her paintings and photographs, which sets the book apart from other memoirs.

Children of the Sky"Children of the Sky" - book by Kathleen Huddle and Margaret K. Menges

AWARDED Honorable Mention in the 15th Annual Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awards

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©2013 Kathleen Huddle, Huddle Art Studio. All rights reserved.


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Kathleen Huddle, Kathy Huddle, artist, Elmira, New York, upstate New York, outsider art, ornaments, studio, Huddle Art Studio, gifts, painting, photography, author, angel, angels, Children of the Sky, candles, candle, religion, religious.