My grandmother on my mom's side was an artist. She was actually much more than this, but for the sake of introduction, I'll just say she painted a lot. As a life long painter, she had her style, her preferences, and definitely some phases (or periods as the artsy types call them) which are kind of cool to look back on.

To say she was a driving force in the family would be an understatement. Whether intentional or not, she knew how to build a legacy. When she died, she left a room full of paintings, volumes of poetry, two generations of singers and musicians, and multiple grandchildren and great-grandchildren named after her (I can name 4, but there's probably more.) I've always been glad that my wife got to meet her, and saddened that my kids will only know of her through her impact on me, and will never meet her in person. I suspect they would have gotten along very well and would have had a lot to talk about.

I remember that after she died, everyone in the extended family got at least one piece of her artwork. There was a lot to choose from and if I remember right, the rules were pretty simple. Since she did a lot of portraits, if you were in it, you got it. Then her children picked their favorite(s.) Then the grandchildren could squabble over whatever was left from oldest to youngest. After all was said and done, my uncle kept the rest and made something of a showroom in his basement. A couple months ago we were at that uncle's condo and I actually got to peruse the 'gallery of leftovers.' There was all kinds of stuff that either I had never seen, or had completely forgotten about. Half way across the room I spotted a painting and said, "Looks like grandma knew something before the rest of us." Yo was kind enough to pose and prove my point.

Suspicions confirmed, they would have gotten along famously.
I don't know anything about this painting or when or why my grandmother decided to put it on canvas. I just know that if you're in it, you get it. I also know that I would have stiff armed my uncle and ran out of there with that painting if I thought I could fit it in the car.


Jur said...

Hope she gets it when she gets older. :) Wow. My throat is a little tight.

Sarah said...

Wow! Even the dress!

cuz jill in sd said...

yah know, it's been a coupla months since i've popped over to catch up on the going's on in the gardner household. . . so i'm scrolling down, and catch this blog about gramma. . . wow! thanks for sharing- you are so very very right- she was amazing, I wish my children would've had a chance to actually KNOW her (my oldest has a book written for him by her, though), and i miss her often. Thanks for sharing your picture. i remember having seen that one before, but it would be one that i had forgotten. it's amazing the forsight that woman had!!! who'da thunk, huh?