Grandma’s Laundry Sprinkler and Apples, oil on canvas, 9x12 inches

Grandma’s Laundry Sprinkler and Apples, oil on canvas, 9×12 inches. Click Image for Purchase Info

My grandmother ironed everything including underwear and sheets! Doing laundry was a major project. My mother bought her a dryer but she refused to use it, preferring to hang everything out to dry on the backyard clothesline. She dragged her wheeled canvas laundry cart with a big pocket for wooden clothespins (see sketch below) down the stairs and then pinned everything up to dry in the sun.

Before she ironed she sprinkled the stiff, dry laundry with water, using her special sprinkler cork (in painting above) stuffed in a bottle. Steam irons made laundry sprinklers obsolete but I wanted to honor this artifact of my grandma’s life in a painting. A few years ago I also made this sketch of her hanging laundry (below). I always loved playing with the clothespins and hanging out with my sweet grandma on laundry day.

Grandma hanging laundry with her laundry cart, Digital sketch.

Grandma hanging laundry with her laundry cart, Digital sketch.

Here is a photo of the setup (which I painted from life, not from the photo).

Photo of still life set up

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Category:
Digital art, Glass, Oil Painting, Painting, Still Life
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Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. This is excellent- esp the fruit! Lisa is a big ironed and uses one of those sprinklers too!

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    • Thanks Nickie! I didn’t know people still used sprinklers—glad to know they still exist…and ironers too. I try not to buy clothes that needs ironing and I can’t even remember the last time I ironed. I bought a steamer on sale cheap, thinking that would be a quick and easy way to avoid ironing but haven’t used that either.

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  2. I love this. I have comforting memories of listening to my mom sprinkle her clothes with a Coke bottle and one of those cork metal sprinklers. To this day I wish I had that thing. You did a beautiful job with the warm and cool whites of the striped tea towel and white table cloth. I love the green and red apples. All in all a beautiful still life that evokes all lot of good memories for both of us.

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    • Thanks so much Julie! You really noticed the things I was going for, with the warm and cools of the whites etc. Thanks for sharing your memories too, and that for you it was listening to the sounds of the sprinkling (and sizzling I bet).

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  3. Yes my Grandma too. She even looks like your Grandma. Those were the days when Wash Day meant washiing all day. Now we are done at our leisure in a couple of hours. I came home with my first baby to ironed sheets and pillow cases.

    susan Grover

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    • Such sweet memories of our grandmas and how hard they had to work. I love that image of coming home with a new baby to ironed linens. Such a loving thing to have done for you when normally all the focus is on the baby. What a special memory.

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  4. Oh, Jana, great painting. It brings back many memories of my mother’s sprinkler cork. We had one just like the one that you’ve pictured in the painting. Love it

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    • Thanks for taking time to comment. It makes me happy to hear about your mother’s sprinkler cork too. One of those odd little mementos of the past that seems to connect many of us.

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