Cedaredge artist writes of her life in ‘Rusty Spoon’
If you like her colorful watercolors, you’ll like the colorful book Bertie Stroup Marah has written about her colorful life.
Already well known in western Colorado and New Mexico — among other places — as a talented Cedaredge artist, Marah tries her hand at writing about how her life began during the Great Depression, and how she’s lived since.
Marah not only tells her art fans where her inspirations come from, but she also offers a written record of what life was like for a poor family struggling to survive through the Dust Bowl, the World War II years and the decades since.
And it isn’t always a pretty picture.
“I did not recognize the warning signs of danger and death,” Marah writes in the pages describing her attempted suicide at age 43. “This demon — a severe clinical depression — crept upon me with the stealth of a world-class thief. All my life whenever I had felt sorrow or despair, I had managed to talk and laugh my way out of it. This time was different.”
Marah starts her story in southeast New Mexico where her mother grew up in near abject poverty. She writes about her mother’s struggles with alcoholism and how it affects her family.
Her own life, Marah writes, is forever tied to that.
The title of her memoir, “Born With a Rusty Spoon,” came from her grandmother, who once remarked to her that, unlike others, she was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth.
Unique as everyone’s family history is, her’s is much like others’. It goes from humorous to heart wrenching to enlightening and back again.
Throughout, Marah talks about her early flirtations with art, and how it blossomed into a successful career.
The reader follows the family as it moves from one small town to the next in New Mexico, and finally ends up on the Western Slope, living in various familiar places as Paonia to Delta to Grand Junction.
Marah is an award-winning watercolor artist who paints rural areas, mountains, animals and people. She was a quick-draw artist at the C.M. Russell Show and Auction for three years in a row.
Learn more about Marah and her work at http://www.bertiestoupmarah.com.