Sunday, April 15, 2007


Morris Broderson has such a tender heart. And all that tenderness shows up in his paintings....This little person, is a small beautiful pastel that Morris did in 1992. It is part of a series he painted on Mary and the Birth Of Christ.

This wonderful scarf appears in a number of the paintings Morris did during that period...Here is another painting of that series, and as you can see the scarf is used and in the same way only this time it is used on an adult person....Mary II is the name of this painting.

I had a difficult time photographing this painting because of the light from my windows....too much light was coming in on it when I moved the painting to give it more light...photographing it with the flash didn't work either....So this is a compromise picture of it...You can just barely see Morris' use of 'light' in the actual's quiet extraordinary....I will try to find a better place to photograph this from, but for it is....And I have a third painting from this series, too, where again Morris uses the scarf. It is called Mary I, and it is Mary with the Baby Jesus in her tummy...Morris has always had a very unique way of seeing things and has never been afraid of putting paint to canvas with his special view of things. Religeous themes are not new to him by any means, either...Some of the first things I ever saw of Morris' which were painted back in 1959-1960, before I ever knew him, were a series of paintings and drawings he did on the relationship of the stricken Bull, in the Bull Fight Ring, and Christ. A Magnificent series....and again, his special unique vision expressed on canvas and paper. His use of color....his use of flowers and landscaping in the background of many of his paintings is you will see.

Here is "Mary I". Again, this photograph really does not do it justice, but it's better than no photograph at all...It is so interesting to notice all the details of this painting. The design of the dress makes it look like the baby is in some kind of prison...That scarf is now around the neck as you can see and also the same design has been carried out on each sleeve, as well...there are some flowers and that lone angular tree with no leaves...stark and in a way cold...but then there are the little flowers over there on the right bringing hope of new life...that's my interpretation anyway, from what I see...

Many years ago, forty, to be exact, Morris said he wanted to paint me and he asked me would I agree to pose for him. I was incredibly flattered and honored, and of course said 'yes', without taking a breath. He is not a 'portrait painter' per se, and his vision is not a photographic one, though he is certainly capable of painting in a traditional manner, as you can see in the charcoal drawing that he did when he was Fifteen Years Old, as seen in my previous post about Morris, and now posted here---one-more-time!

Morris gave this wonderful drawing to me as a gift, a number of years ago. There was water damage at the bottom of the drawing, but that doesn't matter to me one bit. I'm so thrilled to have this beautiful rendering, which shows the great skills of the young Broderson. Sorry it is not a better photograph, but as I said in that earlier post---with the glass covering it, it is very difficult to photograph here in my house with all the floor to ceiling windows!

Back to the portrait.

The time spent posing for Morris really cemented the closeness of our friendship. I posed for him for about three months, twice a week at first and then once a week for the last few weeks. We had such fun. We laughed all the time. No one I know loves to laugh more than Morris. And, as I said in my previous post about him, he has a better sense of humor than most of the hearing people I know.

The Portait is an Oil on Canvas. And Morris chose the dress he wanted me to wear, having literally looked through my entire closet....I can still see him going through all my dresses...moving one after another...till he saw this dress.

I posed for him for about a month before he was ready to show me anything that he had been painting. So it was pretty thrilling to finally see what he was doing. The thing that knocked me out and that was utterly fascinating to me was this: He had chosen to do two 'Naomi's'. One is facing right-out-front----looking straight ahead---directly out at the world. And then, just behind that 'Naomi'---there is a kind of shadow 'Naomi', in profile----eyes down almost inperceptibly so---(Morris' Genius here......!) and this is a bit more contemplative 'Naomi'...(look at the hands)....I thought this was total total fantastic Genius!

Like, here's the 'Public Face' and then, here's the 'Private Face'...(which might be more hidden. Yes, especially, back then...I was pretty young back then...well, at least from my vantage point right now, I was truly pretty young and my feelings were much more hidden...)

And what Morris "got", was that I was in mourning. He understood, on a level that one cannot even put into words, that I was in deep deep mourning. He knew that my mother had died less than a year before and he caught something of that in this great great painting. He truly did. And I will be forever grateful to him for understanding something about me that no one else did, at that time....And that he was actually able to capture this forever, in a painting, by putting oil to canvas----this is the miracle of true "ART"...

Morris gave this painting to my father. I mean, it was a gift to him. So before it was to leave California to go back to east, Joan Ankrum wanted people in Los Angeles to see this unusual and unique painting.

So she had a 'special reception' at her gallery, The Ankrum Gallery, (The Gallery I was associated with as an artist and that showed my work for almost thirty years)....and it was the only time that the painting has ever been seen here in Los Angeles.... This is the only photograph I have of that reception...It is, the fantasically talented Morris and me, standing in front of the portarait-painting, talking to someone unseen. The year was late 1967....almost forty years ago.....

While I was posing for him for this particular painting he told me that he was going to do a second color drawing of me after he finished the oil, and he needed to choose a blouse for me to wear.....Tune in, next time.....

More To Come.......

Links to this post:


had this to say:

What an amazing artist. The painting Mary I is a unique depiction, she seems to have something holy about her even though she is quite fragile looking. Michele sent me, and I'm glad she did.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 4:00:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful story of the painting. Such a long relationship.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 4:59:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

How wonderful. You have led a truely amazing life.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 6:25:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

That he is an excellent artist cannot be disputed, Naomi. But in the portrait of you, although I like very much the overall look and the two figures was a genius choice, he did not capture your facial beauty at all. You may have been in mourning, and that shows, but you were (and are) much prettier than that painting.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 6:46:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wonderful, wonderful and most wonderful! Thank ypou for sharing more of his art and your collection. The portrait of you is fantastic. I really do see in it the things you describe. How clever of him to see past the public you to the inner you, but that id the beauty of friendship isn't it?

Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 11:20:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

. . . and I can't wait! I want to see the blouse!

Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 11:44:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

WOW. WOW. Such beautiful memories to have. I love it.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 12:54:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I was certainly not expecting another post on this magnificent artist quite so soon! What a SURPRISE! This is fabulous Naomi! I really LOVE you for sharing his art with us! I would NEVER have gotten to see it otherwise! Don't you just find that amazing?

Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 2:03:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I sort of have to agree with Judy. You wrote how you laughed and laughed with the artist, and then showed this painting of the dour Naomi...which isn't YOU. Even in mourning I can't imagine you ever looking as dour as you do in that picture. I see you smiling all the time, as every picture you post shows your glorious smile. But the painting... you look too sad, too morose.

I love the first painting in this post, the cap of Mary's. It's lovely and says so much to me.


Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 2:44:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Michele sent me back to admire your friends art again. That portrait of you IS genius. It perfectly shows what you were holding inside. Portraits aren't always about what you see on the surface. They are not photographs are they?! :-)

Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 3:20:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Absolutely fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

I'll be thinking of these pictures and your stories for days.

OLOTH I would love for you to pop over to Sarch's Blog. We're having a little get together over there. You would be a welcome addition to the conversation.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 3:48:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Lyn M.
had this to say:

I know so little about great art and artists, but your collection of Morris Broderman's works speak to me of how clearly he viewed the depth of each subject he captured, especially the portrait of you..
They are wonderful and I'm really looking forward to seeing more.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 3:59:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I am thorougly enjoying the Broderson series.
I agree with you; the hands in "your" painting are exquisite. Hands are so hard to make look real and normal and natural. His work is perfection!!

Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 4:15:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh. Wow. Naomi.


Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 6:01:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

You've introduced me to a new and novel artist! How flattering to be a subject!! The two figures is fascinating! I too am glad Michele sent you over my place! Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 8:12:00 PM PDT 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

I adore that first picture with the scarf and of course the ones of you are magnificent. Such talent.... it is the one thing I wish I could do... draw and paint... but, not even stick figures look very good when I get finished with them.
Can't wait to see more!

Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 8:50:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh neato! The whole post is a good read but the painting of you is really something else! Very interesting!

Sunday, April 15, 2007 at 10:02:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

He really does seem to be exceptional. His paintings show so much just by the expression alone....I loved yours and I love the way you say he captured your painful mourning from your mother. I loved the photo of you at the reception too.
Always the place to come for great stories and I learn so much here!

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 5:56:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a remarkable painter, Naomi! More I read your story more I appreciate Broderson. I like very much the portrait of you, it's very expressive! Love your photo with the artist and your portrait at The Ankrum Gallery. And you are very, very beautiful!

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 7:30:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

How special to have been painted by an artist so talented. I love what you're wearing in the painting, and the light and texture he put into it.
From your words, it sounds like he's still with us. Are you still in contact with him at all?

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 1:10:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I have to say it once again:

Reading your blog gives me so much. Your way to tell stories, not only from your wonderful garden alone, but from a rich life, is fascinating. AS you know, I'm a Norse, so my English is "childish", i.e., I'm not capable to express in detail how I to comment the way I would in my native language.

You may have observed I had a few days at Côte d'Azure last week - Spring fewer blast it was - staying with my old friend Hakon (b 1930).
He needs a bit "compliments" to his blog. 'cause I want to inspire him, and he his a good writer.. Have posted from both my blogs - amd below is his English Blog.

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 2:35:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Very interesting stuff Naomi! He was such a good artist. How wonderful that he painted you!! I love reading this and I can't wait to see/read "the rest of the story!" I really like the dress he chose. Can't wait to see the blouse!

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 6:15:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I just can't get over what a true genius this man is. Talk about vision and the creative ability to put what's in his head to canvas.
The mother and child was just incredible and I am amazed at how he captured the two Naomi's. I absolutely loved that piece. I bet I stared at it for 10 minutes with my jaw hanging. I was captivated with how he could capture the "emotional" you.
You've had some amazing people cross your path, Naomi, and I'm so glad you've crossed mine.
PS...I may have missed it here, but please give us an update on him. Is he still alive? Still painting?

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 6:23:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What an interesting style in painting. I have no talent so it's always fun to see someone else's. How nice that he did one of you. Very cool!

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 6:30:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow that is really an amazing painting. Artists can really see into the soul, can't they?

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 6:44:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I am just in awe with his works. And gosh your portrait looks really nice but I agree to some commenters that the facial look on that painting wasnt able to capture the entire beauty of you. Anyway it is still wonderful!

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 11:15:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What to say, but this is another fascinating story from the past. The uniqeuness is that you so well combine the past and present..

btw. I'm so grateful for the comment you gave to my friend in Vence. I can tell you more..

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 3:29:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful post. I see that I'll have to get caught up on a lot of reading.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 4:03:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love it. It's like an emotional interpetaion of what he saw. My favorite is the first one. The child with the hat obsucuring his face really speaks to me. I feel like that sometimes.

Thanks for visiting and your kind words. xo

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 5:34:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I read these posts backwards, the top one first, then this. I'd written a comment on the 1st & took some of it down, but in this post, you address what I'd mentioned.
I wonder if him being deaf actually allowed him to be more intuned to you, ie...your grieving, than others would/could be.
I have heard when someone is missing 1 sense, our other senses become stronger. I hope this doesn't sound ignorant of me.
I am also wondering, ignorantly, how you communicated with him. I'm guessing he read lips?
He's definitely such a unique artist, I can feel your genuine love for him. It seems the 2 of you had 1 of those rare connections that defy explanation.

The detail of his painting of Mary, oh my gosh, is so beautiful. As always Naomi, thank you for sharing your world with us. I always leave your blog feeling better than when I arrived.

Friday, April 20, 2007 at 10:25:00 PM PDT 

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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