Watching my son shine

Today marks the 28th year that has passed since I first saw his face.

I called him Son-shine.

He used to sit at our kitchen table, paintbrush in hand, and paint small structures he made from clay.

I watched, by his side.

Matthew Grote, 1987

Now he calls himself Ogre.

He climbs up ladders, paint can in hand, and paints existing structures built of bricks.

Story from Buffalo’s Artvoice, July 19, 2012

I applaud from a distance. Shine, son, shine.

Read more at, Artists transform a wall on Main St.

Watch video interview of the three artists who painted this mural at (Grote, pronounced incorrectly in the video, is actually pronounced Groty.)


26 thoughts on “Watching my son shine”

  1. When I think of Matthew, I see that 3-year-old’s face. So funny to see him with a beard now! Happy birthday, Matthew-Ogre!

  2. oh my goodness. love this, the colours, the passion, the talent. what a gift to the community. years ago, i worked at a drug & alcohol rehab centre, the courtyard where the guys went out to smoke faced a brick wall. i always wanted to hire a group of art students to paint that damn wall but no one, in authority, would agree with me. sigh.

  3. Oh how sweet, Christine. I did a blog honoring my son on his 30th birthday…this reminds me of that. He seems like a talented, spirit-filled being. You must be proud. Blessings to both of you.

    1. I am extremely proud of every one of our four children. I would love them even if they weren’t talented, beautiful, sensitive, and intelligent human beings. But they are. And I’m proud of them. I know you can relate. As I suspect, most parents, and all good parents, can.

    1. I was thinking that same thing when I posted his pictures. Some of my children you can easily tell from earlier photos, but I think you might have trouble identifying Matthew from his. He was a sweet, sweet, little boy.

    1. He did. He always loved drawing and painting. I think all parents are proud of their children for one reason or another. It’s fun when the source of the pride is visual.

    1. I don’t know how he does it, truly. Or any other artists for that matter. I sure couldn’t begin to take the images in my head and reproduce them on paper.


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