#198 - BLACK LEMONS (1)

We have a running joke in my family about any artwork done in the color black.

My parents divorced when I was very young.  One Valentines day when I was around ten, my mom yelled down the stairs “Your father is going to be here in 15 minutes. I hope you made him a Valentines Day card!”  Well, I hadn’t. So, I bolted towards my art supplies to make the world’s fastest Valentines Day card.  The problem was the only construction paper I had left was black.  I folded the black sheet of paper in half to make a card.  I cut a heart out of the center,  glued a paper inside that said “Happy Valentine’s Day” and ran for the door.


I was a lazy kid.  Aren’t all kids at times!

I never thought another second about it.

It turns out my father spent many a sleepless night feeling guilty about how our lives had turned out and how could his little angel have become so depressed??? So depressed she sent a black valentine!

I found this out years later.  I had a great laugh.  Wow, as humans, it is possible to believe absolutely contradictory thoughts about something and never even know it!

Once and a while I tease my dad with something black here and there or even better yet…now he has grandkids to worry about…I always tell my kids to pick the black wrapping paper for Pop-Pop!

I guess you can say I’ve always loved the graphic boldness of black.

Today I thought it would be fun to take a bunch of items we classically identify with certain colors and paint them black.  Especially lemons.  I even love just saying the words “Black Lemons”. It’s so contradictory, everyone knows lemons are yellow!

This print was made with hand-made stamps.  I created the lemon stamps last-minute as I decided the painting needed something.

Here is the progression of this stamped print:

#198 - BLACK LEMONS (2) #198 - BLACK LEMONS (3) #198 - BLACK LEMONS (1)

So Pop-Pop (aka. Dad), this one is for you.

I thought of you all day today, and I wasn’t even depressed!



Join me on Facebook:  Be Creative Mary


  1. What a great story! And it’s so sweet that you were able to talk about it (albeit a year later) and joke about it to this day. I love your print. The black totally brings out the colors (ironically).

  2. Great story. And I love the story that the progression photos of your artwork tells. Adding a little black to those bright, happy colors adding some edge and sophistication. Thanks for sharing.

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