What assumptions do we make when we look at a finished painting?
When writer Noelle Nicholson encounters the painting Blue Monday by Grace Carpenter Hudson she is struck by its subject matter and unusual composition. She is compelled to learn more. A Woman’s Work takes readers through the writer’s process of discovery and includes interviews with curators at the Grace Hudson Museum and Sun House in Ukiah, California. Blue Monday‘s story is about Grace Hudson’s career and controversial methods, as well as her lifelong appreciation for the Pomo Indians. It’s a story much bigger than what meets the eye.
As Nicholson writes, “[s]tanding in front of Blue Monday, a story unfolds in my mind that I naively assume to be true: Hudson, a working woman herself, must have identified with the single mother at the center of Blue Monday, another woman supporting her family. But I’ll come to realize I was creating my own romanticized story, that Blue Monday is about much more than a solitary washer woman. It is a record of a people surviving genocide; a lie trying to tell a truth; and an unexpected echo of my own family history.”
Noelle Nicholson is a freelance writer from Washington state. She has worked as a technical writer and book promoter. Her works have appeared in Cricket and ThurstonTalk. In her free time, she critiques local art exhibits and tutors ESL students. She also enjoys playing the guitar and spending time on the coast with family and friends.