The wacky titles of my paintings are either my family’s sayings or a snippet of a memory I share with them. This painting is titled “Fingernail flick” and here is my story behind it…


An artist’s story…

As long as I can remember my mother and I loved holding hands. Except for one thing. She would get her nail under mine and flick my nail up over and over again. “ click, click, click” I’m sure with this was just one of those nervous ticks. But it drove me bonkers by the time I was a teenager. And I’d yell, “stop it!”.

Fast forward to me becoming a mother. From the day my baby girl could, she’d find the rough spots on my thumb (I am a hairstylist as well as an artist and always have rough hands from all the water they are in). She’s rub and rub those rough spots as if she was going to rub them away. She’d rub HARD - its surprising how strong a baby and toddler is! This rubbing would also drive me bonkers, but of course as most mothers do, I’d tolerate it. Around my daughter’s 9th birthday, my Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I have a whole new perspective now. She doesn’t do it anymore. There are random parts of her brain that are deteriorating from her Alzheimer’s - funnily enough its that part of her brain that has been affected. She no longer has the habit of flicking my fingernails.

It’s surprising the little things that you miss. Even the things that drove you crazy. But now, every time my daughter rubs my finger, I am reminded of my mom and her habit, of her love for me and my love for my daughter. And mostly I am reminded to be tolerant and to have grace with the ones we love. Everyday. xo Ronei.

Ronei FaganelloComment