Elizabeth Bishop lived in Great Village with her maternal (Bulmer) grandparents until October
1917 when her Bishop grandparents took her back to Massachusetts. My painting “Time for Tea” was inspired by Bishop’s poem “Sestina”. I sought to capture the setting from the grandmother 's perspective, putting myself in her place ; the grandmother's heart is heavy fearing she will lose her granddaughter, yet she hides her tears and makes the most she can of the time she has , trying to shield the child from more pain. As she puts more wood into the Marvel stove she turns and looks at her beloved granddaughter, Elizabeth and treasures this happy moment in time. I dressed the child rather formally because she was her grandmother’s little princess, her pride and joy and the centre of her love. The scene
in the dimly lit room, includes many of the objects recorded in the poem such as the almanac, homemade bread, the crayons and paper. I included a kitten at little Elizabeth’s feet because they were always a favorite pet. Hopefully the painting captures a bit of the happiness and innocence of Elizabeth’s home life in Great Village and that enduring love.
June 26th, 2017
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