“hey, mama”


Aw! Those are two of my favorite photos with my mom. I’ve talked about her a lot on the podcast… she’s an artist and some of my earliest memories are of her painting at the table, getting ready for shows, and of course, letting me use all of her materials! Today, on Christmas Eve, I’m talking to Judi Cumming, aka my mom. I feel like a bad daughter because I didn’t know a lot of these stories (self-absorbed teenager), but all of that changes today. You can listen right up there under that dandelion/poncho shot, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, her show at “Delphine’s” in Vancouver when I was just a teeny tiny baby:


Love it! That’s the front window of the gallery circa 1974-ish.

From there, our little family was off to live on the other coast… from the Fraser Valley to the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. There were a lot of apple blossoms in her work at that time. The only one I could find was from this set of notecards she used to sell. I’ve had this in my stash for years, and didn’t realize until taking this photo the other day that there was a little surprise inside:


A little note from me to my grandmother, Blanche (my mom’s mom). I’m pretty sure that’s a chicken head. Why? I have absolutely no idea.

This is the photo I mentioned… my mom hanging her “Life Beyond Death” show. I was probably a tween or young teenager at the time and I remember thinking what a cool mom I had. Granted, I think my dad caught her off guard in this shot, but still, very cool:


Beautiful. That’s one of the pieces from the show. It’s truly crazy to me that she thinks watercolor is “easy”. ?!

Anywho, I forgot to bring up this story, but I should have. About a year ago I was visiting a friend, who happens to live next door to an old friend of my parents. I hadn’t seen this woman in decades, so we popped in to say hello… and what was the first thing I saw on her wall. One of my mom’s paintings from the 1980’s! Here it is:


I love those little birds. I’ve always been in awe of the way my mom paints branches… a skill that was not passed down in the DNA.

Up next,  a piece from the “In Tandem” series that she did with her friend, artist/calligrapher Susan Nelson. This is the one that I own:


Ah, so dreamy. I love that we have it in our home.

Next, we talked about her foray into acrylics. Let’s just say acrylics are not her medium, but I love that she is never afraid to experiment! Needless to say, I begged her to go back to those “easy” watercolors, being sure to explain that not everyone finds them easy – she just happens to be really good! Guess what? She listened to her kid! Here is one of her more recent works, and a shot of her in action at an outdoor art show:


My mama in the sunshine! Thank you so much to my mom for being completely up for this… I’m so happy we finally had this very long overdue, artsy conversation (and thanks to my Dad for rounding up a lot of these photos!); thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode; thanks to audible.com for making my new book into an audio book! To pick it up (or any other book over there for that matter) just use my link: audibletrial.com/JealousCurator. And as always, thank YOU for listening.

Have a happy, safe, fun-filled holiday! I’ll be back with new posts the first week of January (and a new podcast episode on Jan 7th). I’m going to make lots of art, drink coffee by the fire, play in the snow, and most likely eat my weight in chips. I encourage you to do the same! See you in 2017 ~ Danielle xo

comments (16)

  1. Hilda /// 12.24.2016 /// 9:52am

    Thank you for introducing us to your mom, Danielle! She was delightful! Blessings to you both for 2017.

  2. Monica Lee /// 12.24.2016 /// 9:59am

    You and your mom are absolutely adorable! I now know where you get your talent and quick wit from! Totally fun! Merry Christmas to you both!

  3. HLB /// 12.24.2016 /// 10:40am

    so lovely, thank you

  4. mela /// 12.24.2016 /// 1:45pm

    Yes! Your Mom IS a sunshine! Thanks to you and your mom to share with us part of her life as an artist. I enjoyed every second of it. So funny and insightful. And… I almost cry with the story of you Danielle painting with your feet the watercolors that your mother had left on the table. Heart melting story!

    Judi your art is so so beautiful, delicate and peaceful. I would looove to have all your pieces listed here. Do you have IG account or maybe you could contact me via email? I will love to buy some art from you.

    Happy Christmas and all the blessings for both of you and your families in 2017!!!



  5. Stephanie Seaton /// 12.24.2016 /// 2:44pm

    Great interview Danielle – fun to look at someone as close as ones Mother – from a completely different perspective. Love the floral watercolour – good call getting her to do more of those. Gorgeous.

  6. the jealous curator /// 12.24.2016 /// 6:22pm

    thanks everyone! i had so much fun … and relieved i’ve finally asked her all of those questions! #baddaughter

  7. mela.art /// 12.27.2016 /// 6:40pm

    #baddaughter Your inner critic Arlo talking!!! No, no, no! : P

  8. Jen Meyer /// 12.27.2016 /// 9:20pm

    I loved hearing from your Mom! I read Moody’s book when I was sixteen and it opened my mind to a whole new level. Very cool that she did a show based on that book!

  9. Cecile /// 12.28.2016 /// 10:46am

    Haaaaaa, best episode yet, what a lovely lady she is! And I love the monochromatic watercolor birds above.

  10. Nicole /// 12.29.2016 /// 4:21pm

    What a delightful interview to listen to! I saved it for my 7 hr drive home from visiting my ma after Christmas
    A real treat! And your mamas work is lovely ❤
    Hi Thx thank

  11. Lovisa /// 01.02.2017 /// 5:12am

    I love your website! Thank you!

  12. Rohini Kejriwal /// 01.02.2017 /// 8:11am

    This is so personal and beautiful 😀 Thank you!

  13. Sandy Maxa /// 01.05.2017 /// 1:05pm

    I love this episode! What a gift that you two share.

  14. the jealous curator /// 01.05.2017 /// 5:16pm

    right!? i love this episode too

  15. Elissa S Nesheim /// 01.13.2017 /// 12:35pm

    What an absolutely amazing interview/talk/chat with your mom! I love hearing about your perspective and hers, so interesting. I often wonder how my kiddos view me as a working artist. I am in total agreement as a watercolor artist with your mum’s assertion that watercolor is easy! However, its just easy for me, I am crap at Acrylics and haven’t ever tried oils! haha! 😉

  16. grace schlitt /// 01.15.2017 /// 4:00pm

    This was one of my favorite podcasts of your ever. My mother, grandmother and great grandmother (who I am named after) were all artists. None of them are alive now, but there is not a day that I don’t look at something they made or painted and get some bit of inspiration. Thank you for sharing your mom, her thoughts and her career with all of us. xo

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