Gray Dog (Watercolour and gouache ) by Tammy Midkiff
I have recently renewed an old friendship thanks to Instagram. I first met Tammy Midkiff in 1993 when we went to live in the USA for work-related reasons. Tammy, her husband Ray and their daughter ‘Little Rae’ helped us settle in and find our feet in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. They took us under their wing and assisted us, with great kindness, generosity and humour, across the cultural divide.
Tammy and I soon found out that we had a lot in common and would spend our days walking, talking and retreating to the air-conditioned comfort of craft malls to buy paper, paints, fabrics and other supplies. Tammy was into quilting and wreath-making back then but could turn her hand creatively to pretty much anything.
When we returned from our time in the US, we kept in touch – cards for birthdays and Christmas and the odd email – but we drifted apart as our paths diverged.
Then, strangely, in December last year, as I was working my way down the Christmas card list, I thought of Tammy and checked to see if she was on Instagram. And she is. No longer quilting but posting lovely images of watercolours. She has, it turned out, been taking lessons in watercolour painting with an artist in San Antonio and has become extremely proficient in the medium.
I direct messaged her but received no response. Then a few days later and completely co-incidently it would seem – although I do wonder whether there was some kind of telepathy at work here – through the mail came a beautifully illustrated book entitled ‘Splash 18 The Best of Watercolour’ with a hand-written note from Tammy. It read: “Since you were my first living inspiration in watercolour it was only appropriate that I share this gift with you – p68-69”. And there was the image which appears above. An amazingly life-like and detailed painting of her daughter Rae’s dog in watercolour with gouache accents.
So we are now back in touch, enjoying and commenting on each other’s posts – sharing our art and lives once again through Instagram. And what is so gratifying is that we have both ‘moved on’ – taking new paths and using different media but still finding an outlet for our creativity.
One of these days I will make it back to Texas and it will be great to catch up in person. But for now – thanks Instagram for reuniting two ‘old buddies’!!