My realtor sends me a card every year to commemorate the anniversary of when I moved into my house. I received my sixth card last week.

I remember moving into this house. Well, what I remember is the sick feeling I had sleeping in my new room that first night. The first-time home-buyer in me was crying like a little baby and worried that I was out of my depth.

My mom painted a picture as a housewarming gift. I’m a huge fan of her work and had requested a painting I could use to break in the empty walls of my new place. She came through with a swirl of colors that provided the backdrop for a series of bars standing like soldiers across the canvas.

My mom's painting

I love this painting on lots of levels. For one, the colors are gorgeous. This color palette lights up an wall without crying for too much attention. I also like how the colors seem to express joy and confusion in the same landscape. If you view the blue bars as poles, then it almost seems like a prison for the feelings I had when first moving into the house. I know my mom did not intend some sort of deeper meaning, but that’s the nice things about art — it can strike a chard in someone where it might not strike another person.


The painting means more to me now than it did six years ago. The past two months have been the most tumultuous period in this house since Marcia and I moved in. Our family has been adjusting to new realities and routines and those have had a significant impact on what we call home. There’s nothing bad happening, mind you. Rather, we’re feeling as excited and confused as we did that first night in the house.

The painting has been watching all along.


I don’t have a lot of free time these days but something in me was compelled to reflect on my home, current life and, yes, this painting. I decided to commemorate it all by recreating my mom’s work in code. It’s not perfect, but dang background-blend-mode is a hell of a CSS attribute when used with multiple gradients on a background.

See the Pen Mom Painting by Geoff Graham (@geoffgraham) on CodePen.

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