Anna Mary Robertson Moses, born September 7, 1860, began her career as a painter when she was 76 years old. Her primitive style depicted scenes with which she was familiar, peaceful landscapes and farm work. Her success story is just as "American" as her artwork. With age, her arthritic hands could no longer hold her embroidery needles and so she pick up a paint brush and expressed her creativity with paint and canvas. She sold her paintings at a local drug store for under ten dollars each, until being "discovered" by Louis Caldor.
By 1939 her paintings were being sold throughout North America and Europe, and in 1946 some of her scenes were depicted on Christmas cards. In 1949 she won the Women's National Press Club Award for her accomplishments in painting. On her 100th birthday in 1960, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller declared September 7th Grandma Moses Day. Grandma Moses died at the age of 101 on December 13, 1960. She created over 1000 painting during her career, at least 25 of which were painted after she was 100.
Not only did she leave us with some wonderful artwork, she also gave us some great quotes:
• I look back on my life like a good day's work, it was done and I feel satisfied with it. I was happy and contented, I knew nothing better and made the best out of what life offered. And life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.
• If I hadn't started painting, I would have raised chickens.
• Painting's not important. The important thing is keeping busy.
• A primitive artist is an amateur whose work sells.
• If you know somethin' well, you can always paint it but people would be better off buyin' chickens.
• I don't advise any one to take it up as a business proposition, unless they really have talent, and are crippled so as to deprive them of physical labor.
• ... I'll get an inspiration and start painting; then I'll forget everything, everything except how things used to be and how to paint it so people will know how we used to live.
• What a strange thing is memory, and hope; one looks backward, and the other forward; one is of today, the other of tomorrow. Memory is history recorded in our brain, memory is a painter, it paints pictures of the past and of the day.
• Now that I am ninety-five years old, looking back over the years, I have seen many changes taking place, so many inventions have been made. Things now go faster. In olden times things were not so rushed. I think people were more content, more satisfied with life than they are today. You don't hear nearly as much laughter and shouting as you did in my day, and what was fun for us wouldn't be fun now.... In this age I don't think people are as happy, they are worried. They're too anxious to get ahead of their neighbors, they are striving and striving to get something better. I do think in a way that they have too much now. We did with much less.
• I look out the window sometimes to seek the color of the shadows and the different greens in the trees, but when I get ready to paint I just close my eyes and imagine a scene.
• I paint from the top down. From the sky, then the mountains, then the hills, then the houses, then the cattle, and then the people.
Obviously the most important thing for you to remember today is..... It's NEVER too late!!!