In this month of celebrating mothers, Carl Crawford’s oil painting “Big Mama’s House” is a loving and reverent homage to the family matriarch who raised him.
From the porch of her home, Big Mama stands like a ship’s captain at the helm, looking ahead to the horizon while presiding over calm waters. The tidy, teal shotgun house with its vibrant flowerbeds and its clothesline with clean laundry billowing in the breeze not only meets her family’s daily needs but also provides the promise of an expansive and creative future. The thriving wisteria vines in the trees symbolize beauty, long life, and ultimately immortality. The children play, free to explore and grow under a grandmother’s watchful eye.
“The painting was a surprise to everyone in my family, and when I finally unveiled it in 2018, everyone loved it,” says Carl. “That house is where I was raised. My grandmama has raised three generations within that house. I wanted to paint that image to capture the history and the memories of where I came from. She’s always been watching over me and she always will, even when she’s an angel.”
At 93 years old, Big Mama is still living in that house today and has no plans to leave. “She says she’s going to die in that house,” says Carl with a smile.