Gretchen Wood Williams

Stepping away from my oil paintings and into real life
I'm sharing a charcoal portrait I drew of my mother
Gretchen Wood Williams
as she sat on my couch one afternoon a couple of years back.

She passed away 2 weeks ago
after announcing that she was ready to go.
She was surrounded by family
and lifted by the love that she had generated her entire life.

She began painting at 10, and no doubt drew well before that.
She was a Commercial Artist since she was 17,
though she would say she started much earlier in that she claimed to get through classes
 at Scarborough School and Swarthmore
solely on her ability to make a dashing poster.

She painted in watercolor for 80 years, recording the landscapes of her life.
The stacks of her work testify to her positive view 
of even the most banal of scenes. 
She could always make something interesting out of what she had to work with.

My brother and I have been lucky recipients of her positive perspective, 
artistic encouragement, wit, wisdom, and light touch all our lives.
We are going to miss you something fierce Gretty.

Whenever we come across a scene full of life, color and movement
we will feel your positive spirit.
Whenever there is a particularly funny story, or witty aside
we will remember your artful turn of phrase.
Whenever we gather for cocktails and conversation
we will know you are with us, Tom is by your side, and we are forever a circle.