Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sisters of Mercy: Nine Nuns I Have Known

Friday night is usually date night. Mr. Adams & I went and saw a movie...The Help. I had read the book, which is unusual, I mean I can read, but my spare time is usually devoted to making stuff so I don't read that much, and especially not best sellers. In any case I did like the book and the movie was really good as well. Anyways, I'm straying away from my point. While getting our tickets, 2 nuns were ahead of us in line. Real nuns. Updated habits, not the kind I remember from catholic school, and blue not black, summer weight habits. One looked just like my 3rd grade teacher, Sister Celelia. We called her Sister Hitler (top row, 3rd from left). She was not the nicest of nuns and reminded me constantly that I bore a resemblance to the troll doll Ricky kept in his desk. She sent me to the principal's office more than once, and once I called her a bitch under my breath, which got me in real trouble, the kind that included a yard stick in the cloak room. I spent the rest of that school year in her classroom a prisoner unable to move or open my mouth for fear of what she might have planned for me.

In any case in seeing these nuns enter the theater my husband says to me, "You're feeling guilty, aren't you?"...yes. Yes I was. I had just finished "Sisters of Mercy" a nod to the nine nuns I had known in elementary school. Most I imagine are probably dead, so here was my chance to immortalize these women, the kind of women that don't exist much anymore, save the 2 nuns who decided to see The Help that evening, a strange coincidence and reminder of what a bad person I am or uh, was.

The Sisters of Mercy weren't all bad, I loved some of these women, even Sister Loretta, with the lovely singing voice, and crackerjack skill at whacking your fingers with a ruler when you weren't paying attention. Or Sister Mary William, who loved math and spoke with a funny little lisp, the short and stout puffy little nun we called Muffin. Our principal Sister Virginia was probably the first practitioner of tough love. She was known by the nickname Beaver, for all the years of her reign, because of her prominent buck teeth. Once a group of students set a trail a sawdust from the convent to her office, the kind of cruelly funny prank that only kids forced to wear wool uniforms in California and go to mass everyday are capable of.

So "Sisters of Mercy" will be available soon as a 16x20 inch limited edition giclee print. It will be $95. unframed. If you're interested in pre-ordering one I'll throw in free shipping, just let me know!


Luna Park Chalk Art Festival
Saturday September 24, 2011 10am-4pm
Backesto Park, San Jose

I'll be creating some street art at this Chalk Festival, but I'll also have a booth selling my paintings, prints and sculptures, come check it out. Luna Park is a sweet little San Jose neighborhood!


Jean said...

Your humor in the painting is great. I remember the sister from going to public school when they had religious release time each week. The Catholics would go off with the sister one way and the others the other way. Clickers, clickers that the students would march to. Kinda forgot about that.

Wm. B. said...

Thank you Murphy. Love the Sisters. One of the best Catholic School survivor stories ever.

Your work continues to surprise and delight.