She would suck air through the gap in her teeth as she became annoyed with gossip or family matters, her full lips pouted each morning as I watched her put on her Revlon Red lipstick before breakfast.  Each night while watching the news she would place my head in her lap and pet my head till I fell asleep, only to wake me up to get ready for bed. The curls in her hair as she held each one in place with tired hands she pinned them neatly in a row before bed,   to me she was not merely a grandmother she was my awe.  My forever beautiful, ever kind, precious, precious Mamaw. 


Mamaw has saying’s that for the average Joe sound like gibberish but I feel the need to share them with you all to better help paint a picture of this complex lady.  One of my personal favorites is “Poot Miss Web”, you say that when you have accidentally passed gas, for some reason if you said these words in her house it was acceptable to laugh at the awkwardness those unfortunate beans created. If someone was very beautiful she would say ” She is prettier than a speckled pup”.  When she was exceptionally tired she would say “I’m weak as a box full of kittens”.  IF you REALLY angered her she would scream “JESUS WEPT AND MOSES CREPT AND PAUL SNUCK OUT THE BACK DOOR STEP!”  Say you were cutting a tomato and accidentally nicked your hand, then she would say “Shoot a Monkey!”  If someone you knew made a foolish mistake that you all saw coming it was “God love her” followed by the shaking of her head and more air sucking through her front teeth. 

Now you tell me she aint precious.




About toccopolasam

Artist Statement: I'm an outsider artist of women's traditional arts. I've been categorized both as a folk artist and south Gothic artist. I'm not sure either category fits me, but I know my art is informed by a feminine gaze. I distrust labels of this kind. Like my grandmother sewing, I do this because I consider it beautiful. I believe in making art that has a narrative, one that creates an ambiance contributing to the visual effect of the work. Like all Southerners raised in the specter of Lost Cause discourse, memories haunt me and my work as an artist. Although southern Gothic is generally rendered in ockers and gray because of multiple layers of decay on the genre, I use garish, Madi Gras colors in defiance of the myth that Scarlett O Hara is alive and well and living in Toccopola. My art searches the landscape for signs of the new south, I'm trying to scrape off the Mary Kay and show the real face however pock-marked of lady antebellum.
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