Tag Archives: artwork

A portrait of Jean (I think)

My mom was an artist — not professionally, but she did have talent at drawing. I found the pencil drawing below among her things and I think it is of a neighbor. I know Mom drew (in chalk) a portrait of Marie, Jean’s older sister who died when she was around a year old. Her mom, June, gave it to me, along with a drawing of their house that Mom drew, at my Mom’s funeral.

This drawing was not in a frame, but matted (with black construction paper) and behind glass, in a box in the attic. I don’t know if she was going to give it to June and changed her mind or maybe this is not Jean at all.

What do you think? Is this Jean? I vaguely remember she had a haircut like that — and the dates match.

Mom’s Artwork: Exhibit 3: Man With a Camera

This piece has no date, but it was Lesson 21, Assignment 2. Therefore it was completed after the lighthouse if the lessons were completed in order.

man with a camera
Man With a Camera

The artists at the Famous Artist School sent the painting back with critiques via a piece of translucent paper over the original piece and suggestions in writing and on the drawing itself:

critiques of man with a camera
Critiques of Man With a Camera

Mom’s Artwork: Exhibit 2: Lighthouse in Several Shades of Gray

This piece was completed July 27, 1967. It was lesson 1B, Assignment 2. Opaque Plate – 4. She was 32 when she painted this. I was 10, soon to be 11. Kevin was 4.

While my mother was not completely personally unfamiliar with real lighthouses in 1967 — she probably saw the Two Rivers lighthouses many times on her trips there to visit family — I don’t think she’d seen one that looked like this, on rocky cliffs. The idea of this drawing/painting was likely taken from a magazine photo.

I like the serenity of this piece. The ocean (or lake) is completely calm. Not a ripple or wave in sight. The sky is either cloudless or completely overcast. It must be dusk or dawn since the lighthouse is lit and it seems like there is a hint of light on the horizon. It could be anytime in between, though, and the glow is a city on the other side of a large lake.

The small house’s door seems too big, compared to the size of the lighthouse, but maybe it was a short lighthouse on top of a large hill.

lighthouse
Lighthouse in several shades of gray

Mom’s Artwork: Exhibit 1: Bottles with Martini

Among other things, my mother was an artist. She dabbled in lots of crafty things, but she held a certificate that she was actually an artist — or at least that she finished coursework to be an artist. She took a correspondence course from, I think, the Famous Artists School. I was young, but I remember her doing her artwork and sending it in to be graded. The books from the art school are still at the house in Elgin. Here, I think, is one of the pieces she created for the course. I think she might have hung this in the house at one time. I certainly remember it.

Two bottles, one orange and one yellow, and a martini.
Bottles with Martini

Storypeople

I don’t know if you have stores that sell Storypeople books and artwork in your area, but we have As Kindred Spirits (aka “Dona’s Favorite Store”).

Storypeople is a company / studio that creates books, cards, furniture, prints etc. based on the work of Brian Andreas. I got to meet Andreas back, just after his second book, Still Mostly True, was published. He is a down-to-earth person with a lot of stories to tell. His books are made up of truisms and illustrated with whimsical and usually primitive (think 5-year olds’ drawings) artwork. Check them out — I think you’ll like them. You can download a free e-book to see what the other books are like — but honestly — I don’t like the e-book as much as I did the first three (the only ones I own). Their site is a hoot — if somewhat difficult to navigate.

I just saw that they are also offering videos — Here’s their Halloween 2008 offering. Enjoy.