Skip to content

Amy Wood Artist

Muster Mum

Auntie Amy! Auntie Amy! Look at my painting Auntie Amy!

As I look down at the masterpiece my 3 year old niece Annie is waving under my nose, I search my brain for a response. Her painting is an awful mess of brown.

Um……..agh………….. It’s great darling.

I turn back to concentrate on my own painting, a portrait of Annie’s mother, my sister Cilla. Annie declares, “It’s called Rising Floodwaters!”

My brain explodes with awe! This kid is quick. If it’s a painting of swirling muddy water of course it would be a brown mess!

Cilla has always had the gift of the gab too, I often feel a bit dull next to her extroverted confidence and wit. In our youth I bossed my little sister mercilessly just to prove that I was important to.

When I see Annie with her older sister (or my own sons together) I see echoes of the past in their sibling dynamics and forgive myself for being so mean when I was young.

It pleases me that as adults Cilla and I have a warmer relationship. Young adulthood led us down different roads but middle age and motherhood have brought our paths closer. Having my sister’s support means a lot to me.

It was Cilla who insisted that I had the skills to illustrate some of the plates for Blue Gum Farm TV – the childrens’ show she produced. She paid me to paint backdrops for her live shows.

I did not know until then that I could paint “things”

I had felt rather cowardly and always made layers and abstract bits in my paintings so no one would know I was crap at it!

I painted some more “things” and won a couple of prizes and sold some paintings

Somehow that little bit of encouragement from my sister helped me to see past the walls of the box I had made for myself. I am gaining the confidence to have a go and painting people is something I have always wanted to do. When I decided to enter a portrait prize Cilla was the natural choice for a sitter. She’s been on the telly you know!

My sister sat there all day while I had a crack at painting her portrait. I have since discovered that professionals rarely spend more than an hour or two with their sitter. Woops! Probably professionals don’t try it with small children in the mix either.