Hosting Grief


Last week I stumbled upon a half-finished watercolor painting from a nearly a year ago. I had completely forgotten about it. It pleased me and I was determined to finish it, which I have just a moment ago.

The subject is a phrase my wise friend Rosa has used, “Hosting Grief”. I won’t take the liberty of speaking for Rosa, but I understand this phrase to be that moment when sadness, grief and mourning become more habit than genuine experience. The  destructive mindset bent upon a wearying darkness, a mindset I am often  way too familiar with. With this painting I wanted to poke fun at my own melodrama, Grief’s headdress tickles the crap out of me, I would certainly wear such a confection if I could .


Hosting Grief

watercolor on paper

18 by 24 inches

(clicking on the image enlarges detail)

My love of Egyptomania was indulged in this painting; that I happen to be taking a summer course, a survey of the art of ancient cultures, notably Egypt and Greece, only fueled my imagination.


A final detail,  tarted up by Instagram.

My regular solution to Grief follows, one of my beasties is sure to make me chuckle with some ridiculous antic, in this case Viola looking at the world upside down.


Must close, but until next time, be well and avoid hosting Grief,


Author: babylonbaroque

I am a painter and printmaker working towards creating a body of work that reflects my own developing aesthetic. New work ,first link. The second link is an on-line portfolio.

14 thoughts on “Hosting Grief”

  1. As my late father-in-law used to say….”shana punum” (beautiful face in Yiddish, not sure if the spelling is correct) to Viola. As to the headdress: if you will wear it, I’ll make it!

    1. When I steal my nerves, you will indeed be the milliner.
      As per the Yiddish phrase it is a sweet one, one I have not heard in some time . Viva la Yiddish

  2. this is fantastic!!! i love the idea, and the perfect humor of its execution….reminds me of an essay from harper’s magazine, written by tom robbins:”in defiance of gravity”…excellent, if you can find a copy of it somewhere, really awesome.
    i love this painting!! please post the photo of you wearing it, and my thanks to ms. fox!!

    1. Will look for the Robbin’s essay.
      And yes, when I adequately steal my nerves, that would be quite a chapeau ; an immediate post,

  3. Love it – such grace and humour – and each little cameo posted works as well on its own as it does a part of the whole. Always worth looking backwards as well as forwards!

  4. Reminds me of those 19th century mourning pictures, oftentimes composed in part with the dearly departed’s hair–just creepy enough to be beautiful. It is indeed a fabulous hat and worthy of construction by some clever milliner.

    1. You hit the nail on the head, decades ago I attended a museum exhibition “Mourning Becomes America”; I was fascinated by just what you describe. Clearly the influence has lingered, so happy you noticed.

  5. Reminds me of Rilke’s

    ‘how even lamenting grief decides finally on form,
    serves as a thing or dies into a thing…’

    So much to love and laugh at here, isn’t she so sorry for herself! I like the little phallic toadstools on the left figure’s seat.

    I’m also delighted by St Anthony, such naughty fauns! I can see how it all might be very tempting to him though…

    1. Dear Lucy,
      You are such a delight, thank you for Rilke’s insight. From what I have read of him, I am so moved, i must read more.
      Yes, she is a pitiful thing, I can totally relate. My mother’s nickname for me when I was a child was Sarah, as in Bernhardt. I’m afraid it has never really left me.
      As per toadstools, they really aren’t much of a stretch from a guidebook I have- maybe just a little exaggerated .
      As per Anthony, not sure yet what is the real temptation, Life-the fauns, or sanctimonious “faith”. still figuring that out.
      As always, thank you for your comments and observations!

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