Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Bowl Of Roses

Last week I told you about some of my mother's paintings, and I have been trying to figure out a way to get them into the computer so I could share them with you. I thought of taking them to work, where I have a scanner, and scanning them in, but it would mean removing them from the frames. I was afraid I would damage the paintings if I did that. And then I had a sudden brainwave -- as I occasionally do, about once a decade -- and decided to take photographs of them, and upload them that way. Sorry it's tilted, and it's not the best way to view them, but it gives you a bit of an idea, in any case. This is the painting of Salisbury Cathedral that my mother did when she was 16 years old. The art school was across the street from the Cathedral. When I went to Salisbury Cathedral, the art school was still there, and I could see students sitting in the windows, painting pictures of Salisbury Cathedral.

This second picture was painted by my mother -- just for me. Up until I was seven years old, I shared a bedroom with my brothers. It was like a dormitory, with the beds all lined up, but my brothers couldn't wait to get rid of me. So at the age of seven, I got my own bedroom. My mother decorated it for me -- all in girly stuff. I had beautiful curtains and a matching bedspread, a brand new bed and dressers, and a big round rag-rug that my mother made. To this day I still love rag-rugs. And then one evening my mother painted this picture to put on my bedroom wall. The roses were from her garden. I was sitting at the kitchen table watching her while she painted it, and I can still remember the sound of the brush tinkling in the glass as she swished it in the water and applied fresh pigment. The whole process had a rhythm to it. Dip the brush into the pigment, stroke the pigment onto the paper, clean the brush in the water, dip it into the pigment, apply the pigment onto the paper... The painting took about an hour to complete, and my mother and I sat in absolute silence while she concentrated on her work, the only sound the tinkling of the brush in the glass. I was mesmerized watching the painting come to life. To me, it was like magic.

Last summer I had the Munchkins staying with me for a few days, and we sat at the kitchen table doing some watercolor paintings. I did a little composition for them to paint, and I was amazed at how good they were. I think my mother would have been pleased.


Anonymous said...

I think your mother would be especially pleased that you still have her roses hanging on your wall. And that you're keeping up the family talent. It's too bad people can't live long enough to see just what a profound effect their existence on earth has had over the generations. My grandmother would be beside herself if she could meet my daughter. Grandma had a passion that seems to have skipped several generations and landed on my sprog.

Leslie: said...

You've obviously inherited your mother's artist talent and nature, Josie. And I remember your showing me both those paintings - but my favourite is the one of Salisbury Cathedral, probably because I could relate, having been there myself. I sure wish I could paint like you and your mother, but I'll have to make do with my photography skills.


Hi - I thought I'd mention how I uploaded the paintings and photos that I took of art that I own (and some I also did).

All you need do is go outside - if you have a porch or patio, this is the best. Set up the background with a lovely draped fabric; without print to get the best effect.

Then take down the paintings; set them up against the fabric, and shoot with your digital camera.

If you try to do it inside, the flash will bounce off the glass; however, if you do it outside, the flash has no effect because of the bright sunlight.

Be sure the painting is shaded from any direct sunlight that could cause glare; it works beautifully.

Doing it this way, means you can take a shot straight-on - then download the pictures; crop - fix any tint or color saturation on the computer, and finish it off.

Then you just take the picture back inside and hang it back up - nice and easy.

I enjoy the paintings; all of them are delicate and breezy; full of grace and excellent use of color.


lovelyprism said...

They're lovely, Jo. I'm sure she would be very pleased.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

What a treasure to have something tangible that expresses your mother's love. I bet you remember that day every time you look at the roses.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Jo, so your mum was English? I am sorry not to have picked up on that fact before now. She was also a very talented artist, as are you...

Amazing that we have those elements of them to remember them by - I love that. I have a trio of sepia watercolours painted by my son's godmother's mother in the 1920's - They will be his someday, I hope he can appreciate them as I am certain your family appreciate your mother's and your art...


Paula Slade said...

Your mother's rendering of Salisbury Cathedral was quite remarkable for 16! You have been given precious gifts Jo, not only in your creative talents but in having special memories and moments that you can draw upon and share. Lovely and touching story about the rose picture.

Andrea said...

Such talent! Such a gift.

The Pink Cowboy said...

Lovely paintings. I love the roses. Are they watercolour? How wonderful to have a mother who was also artistic. Lovely post.

sally said...

Hello again..

It's been a while since I've visited your site and I had a great time reading 4 of your recent posts.. You write so well..Did I tell you that before? And I envy have so many ideas for own site is so mediocre in comparison..anyway, I'm glad to have "followed" you..thanks for sharing..

meggie said...

Your mother was very talented. I love the roses she painted, just for you.

TheChicGeek said...

I think they inherited it from you, Jo. Your Mom was incrediblly good to do such a lovely painting at only 16. Maybe someday the munchkins will be writing about Grandma Jo and the lovely painting they made. Making beautiful memories is always so much fun!
Have a happy weekend...I'm off for some more fun myself :)

Scoobyloves2004 said...

Those are beautiful paintings! I love the roses!

nomore said...

Indeed, Art is long Life, is short ! Beautiful pictures...

Nancy said...

What a wonderful memory of your mother. She sounds so loving and maternal. I can see where you inherited your talent. She was an amazing artist at 16.

Sherry said...

I love this story. I especially love how you describe watching your mother paint in silence and the only sound being the tinker of the brush in water, etc. I was there with you! It's a beautiful painting, especially to be finished within an hour! Good gracious!

Edward Yablonsky said...

"This is the painting of Salisbury Cathedral that my mother did when she was 16 years old. The art school was across the street from the Cathedral. When I went to Salisbury Cathedral, the art school was still there, and I could see students sitting in the windows, painting pictures of Salisbury Cathedral."

Depictions in art, literature and film
Salisbury Cathedral by John Constable, ca. 1825. As a gesture of appreciation for John Fisher, the Bishop of Salisbury, who commissioned this painting, Constable included the Bishop and his wife in the canvas (bottom left).The cathedral is the subject of famous paintings by John Constable. The view depicted in the paintings has changed very little in almost two centuries.

The cathedral is also the subject of William Golding's novel The Spire which deals with the fictional Dean Jocelin who makes the building of the spire his life's work.

In Edward Rutherfurd's historical novel Sarum, the narrative deals with the human settlement of the Salisbury area from pre-historic times just after the last Ice Age to the modern era. The construction of the Cathedral itself, its famous spire, bell tower and Charter House are all important plot points in the novel, which blends historic characters with invented ones.

The cathedral featured as the setting for the 2005 BBC television drama Mr. Harvey Lights a Candle, written by Rhidian Brook and directed by Susanna White. A teacher takes a party of unruly London fifth-form school children on an outing to the cathedral, and, unbeknownst to them, marking the day 21 years previously when he had proposed to his girlfriend who had later committed suicide. The journey is also his personal pilgrimage to regain his lost spirituality.

The cathedral was the subject of a Channel 4 Time Team programme that was first broadcast on February 08, 2009

Art coming to life! There is a certain leap of the imagination necessary in any appreciation of art. The mind has a life of its own imbedded in art, and appreciation of art makes us literate in the biggest sense of the word.Salisbury Cathedral has a fascinating background as referenced in the wicki article above and was the setting of Mr Harvey Lights and the novel Sarum as referenced above. This Salisbury Cathedral I assume is the painting in the post, the English Cathedral.

SweetPeaSurry said...

I'm sure you're mother would be pleased as punch. What a lovely memory!

A human kind of human said...

Oh Jo, It is as if I was sitting with you watching your mother paint. I could actually hear the tinkling of the brush in the glass and the gentle scratching of the brush as she painted (???) in my imagination. It always astounds me how talented people can do these things. I do fabric painting and a painting similar to your mother's roses will take me up to a week to finish - and your mother did it in an hour - WOW!

KathyB. said...

Jo, I am surprised, truly surprised by how much your mother's art work looks like yours.One would think upon viewing it , that the artist of hers and yours was the same.

Your grandchildren are so blessed to have you and your heritage . The gifts of family talents are not to be so easily dismissed.

I have discovered I am so very much like family ( biological father ) I did not know until well after my 30th year of life, and if it is any comfort to you, your beloved grandchildren, your Munchkins, are beneficiaries of your talents, and gifts, and matter what any man, woman, or court might decree.And they WILL appreciate their Grandmother, yes, they will.

Anonymous said...

Your Mom's paintings are wonderful! I especially love the roses. Creative/artistic talents seem to be genetic in your family. Thanks for sharing these.

BTW, I've never had a scanner, so when I want to post old photos, I use my digital camera to take pictures of pictures. Usually works pretty well.

Jo said...

XUP, yes, I can see traits of my mother in Marigold, and it's a hoot. They even look alike. I guess things do seem to skip generations, don't they?

Leslie, you might be a better artist than you think, if you took a few lessons. Most people are very surprised!

Happy, thank you! Omigosh, what a wonderful suggestion. I had not thought of that, but the next time I photograph a picture, I'm going to do it that way. Brilliant!

LovelyPrism, yes, and I'm glad a few people are seeing them as well.

Kathy, yes, I look at those paintings every day, and I never get tired of them.

A Woman of No Importance, gosh, I love sepia watercolours! I hope your son treasures them as much as you do. It's wonderful to have something like that in the family, isn't it?

Paula, yes, I often wonder if I will have anything to pass down that people will treasure. Probably not, sadly.

Andrea, yes, wasn't my mother talented?

The Pink Cowboy, yes, they're watercolors. Aren't they beautiful?

Deandean, omigosh! Thank you! I'm sure your site is not mediocre at all. I haven't had time to visit everyone, but I will be sure to visit you!

Meggie, thank you! That's why I treasure them because they were just for me.

TheChicGeek, the paintings the Munchkins did were amazingly good. Have fun this weekend!

Arley, thank you. Aren't they lovely?

Nomore, what a lovely way to put it! Yes, those paintings are a part of my mother's immortality.

LoverOfLife, yes, she was a fabulous artist. She should have continued on with it.

Bearbear, yes, it was almost like she was in a state of meditation. She finished the painting very quickly.

Edward, my gosh, thank you for the history lesson! I have always loved Constable's paintings of Salisbury Cathedral. He was a wonderful artist, wasn't he?

SweetPeaSurry, well, I think she would be pleased that I am sharing her paintings with everyone. :-)

A Human Kind of Human, well, yes, a painting like that would take me weeks too, and it would not be nearly as good as hers. :-)

KathyB, *sigh* yes, I hope so. I am slowly and methodically being pushed out of their lives and it makes me sad. I would have loved to have had my grandparents as part of my life. As my mother used to say, 'Life is short, and you're dead a long time...'

Carla, thank you! My mother was an absolutely fabulous artist, but she didn't paint enough, sadly. Gee, I wonder who that sounds like? Hmmmm.... *heh*


My what a small 'cyber-world'; I've seen all of DeanDean's 4 blogs; charming - she's a lovely woman who lives in the Philippines, and actually bumped into one of my 'blogs' via the magic of our I-net.

I think DeanDean reminds me of my friend Carlos who lives in Manila; Perigo who also lives there, and Reverend Bugtong who also lives in this country. They do brilliant and beautiful things; yet they are so humble, shy, and modest about their achievements.

In fact DeadDean took one of the most beautiful photographs I've ever seen; I forwarded the link to my friends in the Philippines to show what talent she has.

I'm not sure if you've noticed my picture that goes with my profile, but that's me promoting the art-work of Doug McClure (well known for both his art, but moreso for his acting and television career).

I also promoted Red Skelton; another brilliant artist and terrific actor.

Early in his young life, I helped Wyland in his art promotions; now he's world-renowned, and as a friend of his mother, I can tell you how proud she is. Again, Wyland was modest; just didn't seem to realize his talent when others were so taken by it.

I promoted Richard Volpe; more well-known in the California/Arizona/Mexico district, and Orlando - the artist that Ronald Reagan came to claim as the best - he collected many of his paintings (always very large; and usually very spiritual).

I was given an art scholarship; taught art - was a judge for art, and mixed with my career as a contractor to the aerospace and military industry, I promoted art part-time, and played the piano for many of the exhibits and open-houses, so I enjoyed seeing so much talent I felt as if I should get 'fat' from gorging on such beauty.

I don't even remember how I found Johanna, but when I saw her art-work, of course I had to add it to my 'blog reading'.......

I think Johanna is right, if more people who have a tendency to draw; like to sketch or dabble at painting, a few lessons will open up many 'secrets of the trade'.

It's just like learning the piano - you get the basics down; you get confident, and then you 'run with it'.

When you can 'run', then your spirit will come through, and you'll continually surprise yourself at how more beautiful each and every photograph you take, or piece of art you complete, becomes.

Have a good week; I'll be away for a bit, but will catch back up with Jo's posts since I have her on an rss feed. Diane

Hilary said...

There's a lot of talent in your family. I have no doubt your mother would have been proud as can be. :)

Jeannette StG said...

Dear Jo,
there is another way to post your mother's paintings (if you don't want to take it out of the frame).
If one of your friends knows the program Photoshop, they can take the glare of the glass off your on-line photo. In that case you may take a photo shot straight (the painting is then parapllel to the way you hold the camera)

Deb said...

I love your Moms painting! I always wanted to be able to paint, I guess I would be what you call a cave person or a 3 year old, enjoy seeing all your paintings and enjoy the stories that go with them

Miss_Nobody said...

Oh those are lovely paintings,and your mother would porbably pat your head and give you LOTS of cookies :)
And I adore your new paintings :)

Anonymous said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.