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Bopcia and Watercolos

Updated on April 28, 2015
Watercolor by Wanda Maria Ast
Watercolor by Wanda Maria Ast | Source


My Bobcia, my Polish grandmother, painted in oils and acrylics primarily (see other art and painting and sculpture Hubs), but occasionally she worked in watercolors on thick textured paper. Decades later, I vividly remember the feel of the sheets of watercolor paper -- some absorbed a little, some absorbed a lot, creating different effects when the water colors were applied.


Watercolor by Wanda Maria Ast
Watercolor by Wanda Maria Ast | Source


Wanda's watercolors ran the gamut of styles, some were precise and detailed landscape drawings, some were softer and blurrier landscapes, and some were entirely abstract in composition. But all of them reflect her interests and her penchant for unusual color combinations.

Watercolor by Wanda Maria Ast
Watercolor by Wanda Maria Ast | Source


Bobcia is no longer with us. It has been seven years since my father and I sat by her bedside and sang old Baptist hymns to her. She was a lifelong and dedicated Catholic, but loved music of any kind. By then she had ceased speaking at all and no longer responded when spoken to. But even though she did not open her eyes, or indicate that she knew we were there, we knew her spirit heard the music and knew our hearts with her.

Any artistic inclination I have came by way of her. One of her oil paintings adorns the cover of my first book of poetry. I miss her still.

Dressing the Bones ~~~ Theresa Ast

Bopcia as a Young Mother in Poland
Bopcia as a Young Mother in Poland | Source
Bopcia in her Studio in her early Seventies
Bopcia in her Studio in her early Seventies | Source

Your Comments are Welcome and Appreciated

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    • phdast7 profile image
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      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Stephanie - Weren't we fortunate to both have wonderful Polish grandmothers? Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I hope you are having a wonderful week. :) Theresa

    • phdast7 profile image
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      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you Audrey. I have loved and admired her work for years and it gives me great pleasure to share it with others. Blessings! Theresa

    • phdast7 profile image
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      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Roberta - Her work always inspires me. Recently I have started trying to sort through and organize her poetry again and it made me want to see and share some of her artwork.

      I just took a look at your home page, and either you have changed it, or I must have never paid serious attention before. I love all your personal statements and quotes and scriptures. Just love it. Hope all is well. Blessings! Oh, thanks for Pinning. :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA

      I love watercolors, and your grandmother's work is just lovely! I, too, had a Polish grandmother. Her talents lay in knitting and crocheting-- she could do just about anything without a pattern! Thanks for sharing your memories!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Your grandmother's work is beautiful Theresa!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      Glad to see this post again for her work is inspiring. And I've just reorganized a Pinterest board that this will go on in 3 clicks.

    • phdast7 profile image
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      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hi suzette - Sorry to be so terribly late in responding....thank heavens fall semester finals are over and grades ate turned in. Bopcia was quite an artist and she wrote poetry. That is my next big project, to try to edit a book of her poems. Thanks for your encouraging and kind words. I hope all is well with you and yours. Blessings!

    • phdast7 profile image
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      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hey Ed - You are very kind. Bopcia would have loved your comments. I agree, the thick and textured paper is a marvelous medium for water colors. We Ast girls do try. :) Take care. Blessings! Theresa

    • phdast7 profile image
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      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hi Mary - Sorry I have been out of the loop for so long. You should write about later in life painting grandmother-in-law. I am sure that would be fascinating. I have never even attempted watercolors, but I do so enjoy what other people create. I hope all is well with you. Blessings! Theresa

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      ahorseback 2 years ago

      Just how many beautiful Ast ladies can this world possibly stand ? I love the artistic effects of that thick paper ! Awesome Theresa . +++++ You Ast girls are all so very talented ..........be well !

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 2 years ago from Taos, NM

      Your grandmother, or I should say Bopcia, was so talented. These watercolors are beautiful. I am glad you have them in your family. I didn't know you had published a book of your poetry. Congratulations! That is quite an endeavor. Thanks so much for sharing all of this with us. Voted up+ and shared.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Lovely tribute. I could never handle watercolors but they are so delicate and beautiful.

      This hub has made me want to write one about my grandmother-in-law. she painted in all mediums but didn't start till she was older, we used to jokingly call her Whistler's Grandmother.

      Voted up, awesome, and interesting.

    • phdast7 profile image
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      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you Diane. It has been a real pleasure to share a bit about my Polish grandparents through HP. I enjoy their creative work and it is nice that other people do too. Blessings. Theresa

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      This was a sweet share on your dear Bopcia. She was quite talented. I tried to do watercolor but found it was not quite my thing, it is harder than you would think. You were blessed to have her in your life.

    • phdast7 profile image
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      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      annart - Well, maybe someday soon. Blessings. Theresa

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      No, I haven't shared them. I don't think they're good enough! Might do some time.

      Yes, I find watercolours peaceful too.

    • phdast7 profile image
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      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you for commenting annart. I would love to see some of your watercolors or have you already shared them? Should I go looking through your hubs? :) They are soft and peaceful and it gives me great pleasure to keep her memory and her art alive. Blessings. Theresa

    • phdast7 profile image
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      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Jo, you are very kind. I can only appreciate art, but I can write. There do seem to be quite a few musicians and writers as well as painters and a sculptor. They are all quite wonderful. It does mean a lot to me to be able to pay tribute to Wanda. Doing well and crazy busy with the school year. I spent most of last year getting two books ready for publication. Satisfying, but exhausting. Hope all is well with you and yours. Blessings. Theresa

    • phdast7 profile image
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      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hi Eric - So happy to be a reminder and so glad we both have very special people in our lives. Hope all is well. Trying to return to HP. Got two books published this past year, one history and one book of poetry, so I have had little time for anything else except my day job. Blessings. Theresa

    • phdast7 profile image
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      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hello Frank. Your words are always encouraging and much appreciated. Theresa

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I love watercolours and have been known to do a few of my own. These are wonderful; they are soft and peaceful. What a lovely tribute to your grandmother. It's so good when someone lives on through their talent and through their descendants.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Reminded me so much of my mom I came back to read it again. Great hub, thanks a million.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Theresa, you come from a very talented family. This is a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. Lovely to see you, I hope you are in good health, best wishes.

    • phdast7 profile image
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      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you Kathryn. It was a pleasure and an honor. Have a wonderful weekend. :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      wow very talented and love the tribute a such a talented person bless you

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 2 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thank you for sharing a little bit about her, as well as her pretty artwork.

      ~ Kathryn

    • phdast7 profile image
      Author

      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you RY. What insightful and generous comments. I really like her work too.

      It never occurred to me that others would not know how to pronounce grandmother in Polish. :) So glad you asked. Let's see, how to do this phonetically...

      Bobcia is bob' chuh emphasis on the first syllable. :)

      I have been too too busy and missing HP. Hope to be back soon and hoping all is well with you and your family. :) Blessings! Theresa

    • phdast7 profile image
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      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hi Bill -

      I finally made myself take a little time for HP. I have missed it. Seems last year with all the stress and effort of publishing the two books I turned to FB because comment on there are quick and short and I can squeeze them in anywhere. Got to get disciplined and reorganized. :) Thank you for the lovely comments. Theresa

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      Such beautiful examples of her work! Light and airy--I think I see them as happy orderliness. They are distinct and they seem to want to take the viewer somewhere. Thank you for sharing her with us. Is Bopcia pronounced bop see uh?

    • phdast7 profile image
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      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you Jodah. She and my grandfather were both amazingly talented and they produced art and sculpture at a phenomenal rate. They finally made it to America with their four children in 1951 after living through the Nazi conquest of, and then the Soviet "liberation" and conquest of Poland. I have wondered how much what they lived through contributed to the determined and driven people they became, and how much was their personal DNA and character, or even their upbringing. Probably we are all some of all of these. Theresa

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love tributes like this, and I'm also a big watercolor fan. Love her painting and love your tribute. :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Beautiful tribute. Her watercolours are wonderful.