Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Devoted Art

To introduce myself, I am Cheryl Devoto, AKA devotedmomof7 or Uma. (The last one is by my precious granddaughter, who is sure to be mentioned a few zillion times in the course of this blog!)

I hope to use this forum to offer praise to the Lord through works of art depicting His creation.

My personal journey in art, specifically watercolors, was birthed through the inspiration of my mother, Anne Bedford. (The first three paintings in this post are her magnificent works.) Self-proclaimed as a "Jack of All Trades and Master of None," she has dabbled in every medium of art imaginable. Anyone who has seen her painting and drawings, tasted her cooking, read her writings, received her gifts of crochet, listened to her play the piano, or heard her singing will quickly realize that self-description doesn't aptly portray her masterful multi-talents. When I was a little girl, my sister and I enjoyed our handmade sets of paper dolls that mother had cut from cardboard. She designed innumerable inter-changeable outfits that were elaborately designed with colored pencils. From toddlerhood, Teresa and I were taught to color in continuous circles to avoid directional lines, and we both picked up her propensity to doodle on every surface available. I remember how Mom spent TV hours cutting up tiny, tiny specks of color from magazines which were later glued together into magnificent collages that looked like masterful paintings. Her hands bear the scars from her brief adventure into carving. The carving kit was lugged along during our summer vacations to the east coast. I'm pretty sure there are very few of those creations around after the need for stitches in her hand put a damper on that pursuit. From Scherenschnitta to cross-stitch, Mom has done it all. Between my Dad's history-buff obsession and my mother's diverse artistic pursuits, we were, thankfully, exposed to vacations touring endless historical museums and art galleries. After my father died, and we moved to Texas, Mom started watercolor lessons with Sarah King in Garland and has enjoyed studying with other respected teachers such as Naomi Brotherton, Jane Jones, and Jan Kunz. Three years ago, she was awarded the highly treasured signature status in the Southwestern Watercolor Society - a two-decade goal.

While I've always been a not-so-closet doodler, I had never followed mother's footsteps into painting. One afternoon a few years ago, I picked up an unwanted watercolor set that had gone unused by my daughter and tried painting a rose, an onion and a couple of trees. That's all it took for my mother to rush to my assistance with tubes of paint, jarfuls of brushes, and every other tool needed to assist my progress in the medium. She's showered me with shelves full of watercolor books and introduced me to local experts to rub elbows with in order to glean their advice.

Today, my mother's illness prevents her from painting as often as she would like, but she incessantly draws and studies. I aspire to Mom's excellence.


  1. Cheryl, please continue on your journey as you are truly gifted. Thank God for supportive moms.