Paulette Haywood Ogard, writer and co-author (with Sara Bright, photographer) of Butterflies of Alabama: Glimpses into their Lives, commissioned me to make a large fabric art panel for her home office. I imagined Paulette sitting at her desk, writing, and taking a break to look out into the garden through the french doors to watch the butterflies. I was thrilled that she would ask me to make a wall hanging for her, and my ideas went straight to bright and colorful butterflies. When she said, “No, no, I don’t do butterflies,” I was surprised, and then stuck, because I couldn’t imagine anything else.
Visiting her house, I would explore other ideas. She showed me her extensive collection of face jugs, primitive furnishings, quilts, and whimsical folk art throughout the home and garden. While I toured the home, shapes, colors, and symbols snuck into my mind, and she told me of the challenges she was facing in blending her interior aesthetics with her newlywed husband’s craftsman style. She was open, honest and funny in telling stories while showing me around the house and in pointing out her favorite things. When she exclaimed that the large devil face jug was her favorite jug, I knew I had the story to tell — a marriage of devil and angel face jugs and the happy couple standing in front of their new home together — Face Jug American Gothic.