I regard this painting as one of my better executed ones.
G’bai first came too our house about 20 years ago. She came to do the sweeping and wash the dishes. She was then about 30 years old and married to a factory worker. She had the burning ambition to educate her 3 daughters and 2 sons, and ` make something ‘ of them. When her husband did not have the time to drop her, she walked a good 5 kms from her house to our neighbourhood to work. She worked in about half a dozen houses.
She also was an excellent masseur, and was greatly in demand whenever someone had a baby! She did not disclose all her earnings to her husband; I helped her open a secret bank account in which she would put her savings. She would then buy jewellery for her daughters’ weddings from these savings!
This diminutive yet gutsy lady, who had never been taught to read and write, dared to dream of a great future for her children.
Sadly, none of her children have grown up to her expectations. Today she is financially much stronger and still working – but only as a masseur.
G’bai likes to dress up, but because of the nature of her work, rarely has the opportunity. Here I have caught her preening in front of the mirror. She generally wears only the `maang tikka’ on her forehead; I have dressed her here in all the jewellery she’d probably love to wear!
Painting Title – Mirror, mirror on the wall..
Size – 11.5″ X 17″
Medium – Water colour on handmade paper
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