Marijana - Women of Strawberry Hill
The painting illustrates the women of Strawberry Hill from the beginning to the end of life. Marijana intended for the viewer to see women doing their daily work. In the painting you can see women teaching and caring for their children. Some of the women are illustrating their talents such as crocheting, quilting, and baking bread. Daily chores such as ironing, scrubbing floors, and washing dishes are also included. The widow (dressed in black) is praying in the other room. The view through the window shows Strawberry Hill.
These friends and neighbors have gathered in one of their homes on a winter afternoon to visit and complete some work. One lady is hand-stitching a colorful quilt and another is crocheting. The lady in blue is embroidering. A mother and her daughter are rolling yarn into balls. All of the young girls are carefully watching the women. This will help to carry the tradition to future generations. On a table near the window you can see the influence of the Catholic Church with a statue of the Blessed Virgin, a lit candle, a prayer book, and rosary beads. There is a picture of Jesus hanging above the table. The items on the dresser help us to recognize the time period. The family has a telephone with a rotary dial. There is also an electric wall lamp. Perhaps the young man in the army uniform is a soldier in World War II.
Making Blood Sausage (Krvávica)
The women mix the meat, rice, onion, seasonings, and blood together. Stuff in casings. Boil sausages in water until ingredients are cooked. To use fry or bake.
Puhanse is a fried cookie sprinkled with powdered sugar. Made for special celebrations.
You can notice on the wall the Catholic crucifix reflecting their faith. The flour on the little girl's apron makes it is obvious that the little girl is helping the women. The tradition is being passed along to the next generation.
The women are washing and hanging clothes. The quilt in the foreground was a wedding shower gift from Grandma.
A mother is hanging the baby's wash on the line. The yard has a planted garden that is found in most yards on the Hill.
Washing Clothes in the Wintertime
Winter wasn't always fun. Women had to wash the family's clothes in the cellar and hang them next to the furnace. Marijana is helping with the wash.
The women wore dresses in bright colors with pretty designs and flowers.
The women would save rainwater to wash their hair. Rainwater makes your hair soft and shining.
Airing a quilt
This woman is airing out her quilt. She lives across the street from the Church. A neighbor has stopped by to visit.
The women made very colorful quilts.
After dinner, I went for a walk on Ann Avenue on the Hill and saw these women sitting outside cooling off and visiting.
A woman who lived across the James Street bridge in the Patch pushed her wagon through the alleys collecting garbage (slop) to feed her pigs.
At the foot of the Hill next to the Kaw (Kansas) River are the railroad tracks. The trains took the grain to the grain elevators by the river. The excess grain was swept into large rags. The women carried the bundles of grain on their head up the alleys. It was feed for the chickens.
Feed the Chickens
This painting came into my mind when I was thinking of the women carrying grain on their heads. I wanted her to be the most important part of the painting, so I made her extra big. She has a dishrag around her for an apron and her petticoats are hanging out. The chickens are waiting to be fed.
Mrs. Nastav's Back Yard
Mrs. Nastav had chickens and pretty flowers in her yard.
Lady Wearing Morcice Earrings
When our grandmothers came from the old country they wore black faced enamel and gold earrings. They are passed on to their daughters.
A Mother's Prayer
During the war (World War II) flags with stars were hung in the windows of the houses on the Hill. The mothers prayed for their sons.
Widows Coming from Church
The old widows stop to talk, coming from church, carrying their rosary and prayer books.