Untitled [three women from the garden club]

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    Photo: Gamma One Conversions
Paint on tin
25 x 55 inches
Collection of
High Museum of Art
Museum purchase and gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Smith also used her yard as a very personal and private record, a diary of her life, which she presented publicly. She often painted portraits of herself, as well as of her relatives and friends. Elizabeth says, “She was drawing all of us. She told me, ‘That’s you. That’s your children. That’s your grandchildren.’” Mary’s son, Jay Bird, says, “Her inspiration came from the Lord, and originally she mostly painted Jesus, and Moses once, but later she moved to painting the family and neighbors.” She also painted visitors, recording them as in a guest book with portraits and occasional inscriptions (“We from New York” and “We from D.C.”).