Freda, watercolour. JLeahy. January, 2015.

I have been painting “Josephine”, the woman from my head in watercolours on paper.

With several layers of pigment on heavy paper, she has taken some time to surface.  In almost three weeks, and working with three other artwork at the same time, I took no notice of how she was looking. I knew “Josephine” was due to finish soon.

My sons had been away south. My younger son returned today and wanted to see what I had been up to. I showed him the gardens, told him about the chickens, the paper thief, and how my blog was going. He could see I had been painting. As usual, he went through my paintings, telling me which ones he liked. When he saw “Josephine”, he asked me if I was painting “Bubu”. Bubu is a shortened Motuan (Papua New Guinea) word for grandmother/father. Chris was referring to my mother, Freda.

I laughed. Chris was right. This woman in the painting is what my mother looked like in her younger days. Apart from her hair, most of Freda’s looks have not changed much over the years, so much so, my 16-year-old recognised her. I had not realised Josephine’s resemblance to my mother before.

How did I paint my mother without knowing? (Maybe, I miss her).



14 thoughts on “Freda”

  1. Freda is very lovely.She has a wonderfully heart-shaped face and has that look in her eye as though she’s about to ask a question. You have created a beautiful piece of art, Joycelin. You really are so very talented. I’m sure your mother would be really flattered if she saw it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much Sue! I’m glad you like the image of my mother. 🙂 I visited the post on Prose & Cons on the beautiful Frida Kahlo; I always found her fascinating, your friend did a great job. Thank you very much for sharing that link. My mother spells her name, Freda with the ‘e’. She was named after a German friend of my grandparents.


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