Thursday, March 1, 2007

Billie Hutt

When I got back home with my mother's paintings, I checked the Internet for Billie Hutt, the painter (my mother's niece by marriage), intending to send her a little note. I found that she, too, had died, on February 4, 2007 at the age of 79. There is a wonderful story on the Internet about her at:

What is interesting for those of us who took up the cello as adults, middle-aged adults, and older adults (I started cello at 52), is that she started her folk painting career at the age of 55, initially to bring in some extra money when the family fell on hard times. Self-taught, she produced whimsical "Grandma Moses" type folk art, becoming a well-respected artist in New Mexico. When she was younger, she traveled a lot, meeting her husband, my cousin, in Alaska, which seemed very glamorous to me, as a child.

When I was 14, and hospitalized for scoliosis surgery in New York City, she brought me a set of watercolors. Later, in high school, I visited her family in NYC, and she bought me a tote bag from Chinatown, with Chinese characters on it. I still have the bag, and probably one or two dried out tubes of those watercolors in my collection of art supplies. I didn't see her after that, but I do wish I had known her better.


cellodonna said...

Lovely and inspiring! Thank you for sharing this.

Maricello said...

Thanks Donna. My mother started over in her mid-50's too. Eventually, I'll post her story, though Barbra Streisand does not appear in it!

Gillian said...

Your story about my mother (Beverly Labe) aka Billie Hutt is very nice, Thank you. I cannot figure out who you are though since we must be related,please let me know. It is wonderfull to see your painting

Maricello said...

Gillian, I just saw your note. I am so glad you wrote, but wish you had left an e-mail address. I hope you will check back and see this note.

I am Zella Duffin's daughter, Marilyn. Zella was Eleanor's sister, and, of course, Eleanor was Ronnie's mother. And Ronnie was Zella's nephew.

I visited Beverly and Ronnie once for a weekend when they lived in New York City. You were maybe 4 years old, and I was in high school. I think this might have been the only time I met you. Beverly and Ronnie took us (my girlfriend came with me) all out to dinner in Chinatown, and bought me a bag with Chinese symbols on it. I still have it. She also bought me watercolors another time.

Write, if you see this, to me at cello at marisol dot com.

Great to hear from you. The paintings are beautiful and hang in my living room.