I still can’t quite believe it, but my mother, Mariah Hegarty passed away at age 61 on September 15, 2016. She had a very aggressive cancer that overtook her very suddenly. She was a model of how to leave the world with grace and I’m so grateful for the time we had and that she was my mom.
My mom has always been such a supporter of me in life and as an artist. She introduced me to art and to making art when I was very young by having a great collection of beautifully illustrated children’s books and by not allowing me to have coloring books or television and providing me lots of paper and crayons to draw as much as I wanted. Both my parents encouraged me to experience and observe nature which is a vital part of being an artist and a student. My mom also taught me, especially at the end to forgive others and yourself, which frees you up to experiment and make mistakes. She always let me take all the art classes I could find and just allowed me to pursue what I was interested in.
She loved beauty and our home was always an amazingly beautiful place. It was never cluttered or crowded, but had old and natural things, nice light, natural fibers. Simple, straightforward beauty. She taught me that beauty is found everywhere and this profoundly affects my choice of subjects when I paint.
Mariah Michele Hegarty — 3/18/55 – 9/15/16
Every Place I Ever Lived
tore my heart with its beauty when I left.
My final week in Florida I steal away
to the beach morning and evening.
At dawn the long smooth waves are bolts
of pewter-colored silk shot with silver
folding and unfolding at my feet.
Dolphins pierce the liquid platinum
like dark needles. The pelicans
–those homely angels–
glide just above the wave caps,
their open-armed wings spread wide.
Splayed across the sand
treasures of the ocean’s generosity*
Each fractured shard, tumbled smooth-
edged and cloudy teaches me
there is nothing broken
that will not be transformed.
– Mariah Hegarty