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Mabel was my paternal grandmother and this is a short story about her artistic legacy.  Mabel has been gone for forty years, since I was around sixteen years old.  However, she lives on in my everyday, mainly through her art.  My dad often said his mother was a tiny, tenacious, Texas woman.  While she did spend a large majority of her life in far west Texas, she was actually raised in southwest Oklahoma.  Mabel grew up, became a teacher and then a wife, mother and artist.  My father also said he thought every house had a kiln in the basement.  I think he was surprised to find out otherwise.

Mabel raised her 5 children, with her husband, in a very small town in west Texas.  My dad called in godforsaken and could never figure out how his mother found beauty there.  I have never been to the town, but here is a picture of how it might have looked:

Roggie and Howard on main street

Roggie and Howard on main street

My dad left west Texas after he discovered trees!

Mabel wrote poetry, painted china and was an oil painter.  Part of her legacy is the prolific number of paintings that she left us.  The other part of her legacy are the talented family members that followed her.  I have two cousins that paint and one that is a cartoonist.  Those are just the ones I know of!  My dad’s six children seemed to have missed the artistic gene, but one of his grandchildren is a successful ceramicist!  I have written about her here.

Here is picture of Mabel, her husband and several grandchildren:

Mabel and Rogers with several grandchildren

Mabel and Rogers with several grandchildren

My grandmother produced quite a bit of art.  I was able to take a shot of two pieces of china that she painted.

painted china clock

painted china clock

China "W"

China “W”

I also have a notebook full of her poetry, but alas it is in storage.  When I think of my grandmother, I think of her many paintings.  She painted both landscapes and still life subjects.  I must admit that the still lifes are my favorites.  Okay, let’s take a look at my poor photos of her paintings:





I promise the painting are much better in real life!

Mabel left Texas after her husband died.  She spent most of my childhood in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  What a change of scenery that must have been.  She continued painting until she died.  Mabel was an inspiration for this kid from a small Oklahoma town.  She wasn’t much like my friends’ grandmothers.  She was definitely a “tiny, tenacious, Texas” woman and I am grateful for all the beauty she brought to our lives.

Okay, someday I will let you know about Jean, another interesting Texas woman.  Thanks for hanging around with me.

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4 Responses to Mabel and her artistic legacy

  1. James says:


  2. Charlotte Liddeke says:

    Wow! Mabel was very talented!! I’ve always loved the sea/ship painting, but the other ones are amazing, too!

  3. Emily says:

    I love this-didn’t know a lot of it.

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