Mattie Miracle 9th Annual Walk & Family Festival -- Raised over $97,000

Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation Promotional Video

Thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive!

Dear Mattie Blog Readers,

It means a great deal to us that you take the time to write to us and to share your thoughts, feelings, and reflections on Mattie's battle and death. Your messages are very meaningful to us and help support us through very challenging times. To you we are forever grateful. As my readers know, I promised to write the blog for a year after Mattie's death, which would mean that I could technically stop writing on September 9, 2010. However, at the moment, I feel like our journey with grief still needs to be processed and fortunately I have a willing support network still committed to reading. Therefore, the blog continues on. If I should find the need to stop writing, I assure you I will give you advanced notice. In the mean time, thank you for reading, thank you for having the courage to share this journey with us, and most importantly thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive.

As Mattie would say, Ooga Booga (meaning, I LOVE YOU)! Vicki and Peter

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation celebrates its 7th anniversary!

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation was created in the honor of Mattie.

We are a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. We are dedicated to increasing childhood cancer awareness, education, advocacy, research and psychosocial support services to children, their families and medical personnel. Children and their families will be supported throughout the cancer treatment journey, to ensure access to quality psychosocial and mental health care, and to enable children to cope with cancer so they can lead happy and productive lives. Please visit the website at: and take some time to explore the site.

We have only gotten this far because of people like yourself, who have supported us through thick and thin. So thank you for your continued support and caring, and remember:

.... Let's Make the Miracle Happen and Stomp Out Childhood Cancer!

A Remembrance Video of Mattie

Random Shots of Mattie, Family and Friends

December 23, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2006. Mattie was four years old and very excited about his Santa train that he assembled around the tree. Mattie loved this battery powered train, which literally rode around the tree and puffed out billows of steam from its stack! This train became a very important tradition for Mattie. It was something he particularly loved about decorating for Christmas, since this train only came out during that time. This photo was featured on the cover of our 2006 Christmas card. 

Quote of the day: Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.  Charles M. Schulz

Our friend Margy went to visit Mattie's memorial tree today on his school's campus. This is not something we asked Margy to do, she just does it on of her own accord. On special occasions and holidays, Margy visits the tree with her husband and they add an ornament to the tree. Margy's ornaments are always very thoughtfully selected and it means a lot to us that someone other than Peter and me visits Mattie's tree. 
A close up of the jingle bell ornament added today. Mattie would have approved of this ornament, since Mattie loved anything that made a noise and was musical! 

Peter and I went to the Museum of fine Arts in Boston today with Peter's parents. I snapped this charming photo in the museum's rotunda. The tree was decorated all in white and it was very elegant and magical looking. 
I photographed Peter in front of this Lime Green Icicle Tower by Dale Chihuly. The tower is 42 feet tall! It is made of glass and steel and when the sun shines inside the building, it catches this green glass and it glows. 
We went to see an exhibit today highlighting the works of William Merritt Chase (1849–1916). Chase was a brilliant observer, an innovative painter, and a leader in international art circles at the turn of the last century. This exhibit features an important and overlooked master, praised for his artistic skill in both oil and pastel, as well as for the variety of his subjects: sympathetic images of women, jewel-like landscapes, views of urban parks, and scenes of children at play. Around 80 of the painter’s finest works in both oil and pastel are on display, drawn from public and private collections across the US. Outside of the exhibit is this wonderful backdrop featuring a Chase painting, in which you can sit within the piece and have a photo taken! I think this is a very clever photo opportunity. 

You may have heard of Charles Sheeler, Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, and Edward Hopper, but what you might not know is that all of them were, in a way, classmates. They, along with other leading American modernists, shared a teacher—William Merritt Chase.

Often overshadowed by his contemporaries (such as John Singer Sargent and James McNeill Whistler, for instance), Chase was a pioneer who left enormous, enduring ripples in the fabric of American art history as a revered Impressionist painter, a leader in reviving pastels in the 19th century, and a devoted teacher.

The exhibition is organized thematically, with the layout a testament to Chase’s expansive experimentation in subject: Galleries range from “Art in the Open Air” (landscapes) and “Life in the Studio” (interiors) to “Posing and Composing” (portraits) and “Chase and Japonisme” (incorporation of Japanese influences).

It is quite amazing that I have never heard of William Chase, especially given that I love impressionist painters. But what is noteworthy is that Chase made his livelihood by teaching.He trained hundreds of other well known artists and is best credited for helping other artists find their own artist voice. I will share several paintings below that caught my attention. But in all reality there wasn't one painting he created that I didn't like. Whether it was portraits or landscapes, I loved them all. He had a way of drawing his viewer in. His use of colors, his intrigue for family life and his propensity to paint women as strong and independent individuals were all noteworthy. 

This painting is entitled, Portrait. He painted an unknown subject (which was unusual to Chase, since he primarily sought inspiration from his wife and five daughters) and submitted it to an avant garde exhibition in Belgium in 1884. The harmonies of red and the mood of the girl's "studied weariness" were much admired. 

The next three paintings caught my attention because he captured the interior of his art studio. Something he took great pride in since he considered himself a collector of fine objects from all of the world, and his studio was designed to impress whom ever entered it. 
Another glimpse of Chase's studio. Filled with antiques, colors, and art from around the world. 
Title: The Tenth Street Studio.

The first owner of this painting was a St. Louis businessman who helped finance Chase's art education in Europe. 

This painting intrigues the viewer to delve into the conversation between the woman in white and most likely Chase on the right. But Chase encourages story telling and left the narrative up to the viewer's imagination.

This is a painting of Alice Chase. Chase's wife, who was the primary subject in most of his paintings. I honestly can't imagine what life must have been like for Alice and her 5 daughters. Chase used all of them as subject matters in his paintings and remember his studio was at home. Home and work for him was very fluid, or porous, as the museum describes it. All of this sounds lovely, but to me it also had to be very difficult for his family to live a normal life without being forced to stop and pose for hours. 
This painting is entitled, Tired. It features his oldest daughter "Cosy." Literally the description says Cosy had been posing for hours for another piece. However, in between posing, she had times where she could rest. This painting captures those tired and resting moments. 
This piece is entitled, Venice. As Chase said to a student, "I am perfectly delighted with Venice. It is the most artistic place that I ever was in." 
This painting is entitled, A Summer Afternoon in Holland. The funny part about this was Chase nicknamed the painting, The Tiff. Implying that the atmosphere was perhaps less relaxing than it may first appear!!! Notice the man at the table and a woman in the hammock. At first we may think they are relaxing together outside, however, Chase reveals in his nickname for the painting that not everything is what it appears to be. 

This painting is entitled, Study of a Young Girl on an Ocean Steamer. What I loved about it is I can relate to the subject matter centuries later. The girl is sea sick, isn't feeling good, and clings to an orange in hopes of stabilizing her stomach. 
This painting is entitled, The Open Air Breakfast. It was painted in the Chase's family backyard in Brooklyn, NY, and the subject matter is "modern suburban leisure." It features Alice his wife, his oldest daughter Cosy, his sister Hattie holding a racket and Alice's sister Virginia, lying in a hammock. 
This painting is entitled, Portrait of a Lady in Pink. It features a woman named Mariette, who happened to be one of his students. This painting was considered a "tour-de-force" of the brush because of the exquisite detail and texture of her dress, the ostrich plumbed fan and the transparent chiffon of her skirt. 
This painting is entitled, At the Seaside. Educators in the late 1800's recommended that all children play freely outdoors to promote their mental and spiritual development as well as their physical growth. 

While Chase's children were playing on the beach, he was busy capturing that moment on canvas.
This painting was a Self-Portrait in the 4th Avenue Studio. This was one of Chase's last masterpieces before dying. When his patron asked him why the painting within the painting was left blank, he replied, "It is my masterpiece, the alluring, tantalizing, great picture I always hoped to paint."

1 comment:

Margy Jost said...

Vicki, I love going to Mattie's tree! The day, I met you there, I knew I would be back to this very special memorial to the life of Mattie Brown.
I am grateful, you shared it with me, so pleased that it is ok, if we put treasures on the tree. I never knew Mattie, had the chance to talk with him. I learn all I know about his short 7 years from you and your blog. I am so sorry that you & Peter have lived 7 years without him in your daily lives. It is so obvious, Mattie was loved, cherished and always will be. I feel honored you let Ken & I be part of making this special tree so lovely. Each time, we have come, we read the dedication plaque at the base of the tree. It is such a sobering fact to read Mattie's name, the dates and that he would be a member of the class of 2020. I believe Mattie's tree is a special place because it is a living memorial to a little boy gone way too soon! Thank you for liking what we have hung there to honor Mattie!

I believe I would have liked the paintings of the artist Chase. I so enjoy your travels with Peter. Your descriptions of everything are so vivid, it is a little like being a virtual traveler with you. My favorite Chase painting was The Lady in Pink, not so sure, I can give a reason. However, I was drawn to it. Know, please that you are both in my thoughts as well as Mattie 🌻