New Work

…or Painter Barbie Presents

the latest J. Parsons canvas. I say canvas but it is actually paper and conté crayon (a type of compressed chalk in a small squared stick). It started out as a rough sketch in preparation for an acrylic but once I got going with that pleather jacket I couldn’t stop. The piece is roughly 16 x 20. Inches.


Aunt Marie was a going concern in the 70’s when our family used to visit on holidays. We often said that we never saw her sit down. Perch maybe, for a split second until she was interrupted by a knock at the door and a small voice asking “Can somebody go out in ‘da shop?” and she would throw her apron over the back of a chair, grab her keys and disappear for a bit, in which time Uncle Gerald would entertain us with wisecracks. By the time she got there, there might be several customers, perhaps clutching small crumpled notes from their mothers: half a pound of bolognie cut thick, a pack of du Mauriers (cigarettes – I could do a whole blog post on du Mauriers), a bag of onions, and a pack of jamjams etc. Then she’d reappear, keys jangling, her wide smile making her look mildly surprised. To me, Aunt Marie was about as cool as a rural Newfoundland shopkeeper could get. She smoked, she kept her eyebrows tamed, she wore lipstick, and always high heels when she dressed up. She knew everybody and never said a bad word about any of them. If I close my eyes to imagine her now I see her standing at the stove, leaning back to avoid the hot steam of a giant pot of Jigg’s dinner, one hand holding the pot lid, the other desperately fanning her face. Because Aunt Marie was always hot in more ways than one. I think the vinyl jacket, polyester palazzo pants and the avocado phone captures the era nicely. We miss you Aunt Marie and oh, by the way, I’m sorry I ran off with your tweezers that time.

© Judy Parsons 2017

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