The Kitchen

The Kitchen by Carl Larsson, 1898

Here’s a bit of loveliness to cheer up a gray day.

I read an article about teachers who choose to practice self-care are then happier and better able to deal with the emotional-social drain of their teaching job. I imagine that applies to motherhood and homeschooling as well. In Charlotte Mason terms, it’s called “Mother Culture.” The crisp lines, bright spaces, and homey details in this painting are my self-care for the day. It doesn’t have to be complicated, right?


Flowers on the Windowsill

Flowers on the Windowsill

Flowers on the Windowsill, Carl Larsson, 1894

With the release date of my collection of stories drawing near (November 1!), I thought it appropriate to have a little talk about the painting on the book cover. My husband looks at it and expects the girl to start moving, sit down at the table, etc., similar to the magical paintings in the Harry Potter series. My friends wonder if I painted it, because it does indeed look like something I might enjoy painting. My editor says the painting echoes much of the delicacy in my prose. Sandee, the character in my novella, claims the painting is “beauty in simplicity.” What do I think about it? I think I’d love to be that girl, quietly watering a row of houseplants, feeling the fresh air blow in the open window, letting my mind wander to whatever it fancies, enjoying a solitary moment in a house that is not lonely.

What do you think of Carl Larsson’s painting?