International Women’s Day: 4 paintings, 4 stories

new car
The New Car
Watercolor on Arches #300 hot press paper
© 2015 Margaret Sloan

The painting above is of my mom with her brand new car in 1956, that she bought with her own money earned from working a professional job. (For 60 years, my dad carried in his wallet the black and white photo I used to make this painting)

She told me that when I was a baby, she was passed over for a promotion—even though the boss admitted she was better qualified for the job—because he had to give it to a man, even though that man was less qualified. After all, he had a family to feed. My mom was supporting us at that time while my dad went to school. She asked the boss man, “what about my family?” Perhaps because I was a girl-child, I didn’t need to eat much?

My mom is one of my heroes. I can only hope to ever measure up to her intelligence, compassion, dedication, and love.

Watercolor Painting
Margaret M.
11″ x 14″ Watercolor on Arches 300#
© Margaret Sloan 2014

The above painting is of Margaret, the wife of a very fine painter. She and her husband told me that she helped put him through art school by being a model. She helps run the half of his business that doesn’t involve painting, and is raising their young children. When I painted this picture, I kept thinking of her as the heart of their family, as well as the heart of the sea.

She still models for him.

Watercolor figure sketch
Figure sketch in watercolor

This is my beautiful niece. I convinced her to pose for me one warm summer day. She was very young; I wanted to capture that fear of being a young woman setting out in the strange and sometimes frightening world. 5 years later, she’s planning a wander year, still a little anxious, but bravely planning her journeys. I worry about her. I know that the world is not always kind to young women, and yet, I want her to make her way with bravery and joy.

Beginners Reel
© 2012 Margaret Sloan
Watercolor on Arches #300 hot press

This little girl was at her first stepdancing exhibition. She was about 6 years old, and the only beginner to dance at the show. But she bravely marched out and danced her sevens and one-two-threes by herself, soloing on the edge of a world that holds promise as well as dread. I hope that she dances through a world that gives her a chance.

The Wheel © 2013 Margaret Sloan Watercolor on Arches #300 hot press
The Wheel
© 2013 Margaret Sloan
Watercolor on Arches #300 hot press

To all women still turning the wheel, I salute us. To the men who love us, I salute you too.  It’s sometimes a hard wheel to turn; let’s work together on making it revolve.

6 thoughts on “International Women’s Day: 4 paintings, 4 stories

  1. Lovely work, Margaret. Beginners Reel is special. I love all the tones in your paintings. The green and blue mix in the wheel is just wonderful.

  2. I am drawn to the painting of your mom. What a wonderful work of art with a special story to go with it!

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