Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Artistic Aunts and Uncle

We have one room of our home that has four different works of arts by four of my father's siblings.  Each has a unique style and I feel fortunate to have inherited a piece of each person's artistic heritage.  Funny thing is, Dad didn't have an artistic bone in his body.  Even his garden, while high in yield, tended to be low in aesthetics.

Uncle Lester was Dad's oldest brother.  He was very blunt and a rather austere perfectionist in my eyes.  I never felt either myself or my family really ever measured up too well on his scale of success.  He was an engineer and had done well, financially in life.  He always drove a late model car, and liked people to notice the fact.  Here is one of the three examples of his art work that I recall seeing.

The second one, which always hung above our dining room table on the homefarm.  It was a rather garish birch tree backing up against a forest.  This one, and the photograph below are both painted with a pallet knife, hence the rough texture and thick gobs of paint.  A third one that I also attribute to the same artist was of two orange irises on a black background.  I have no idea where that particular painting went, but since I now collect anything iris-in-nature I'd love to know its whereabouts.

The other thing my uncle was known for was cutting gem stones.  In the family genealogy book he is listed as a lapidarist.  I always thought that a little toffee-nosed, but maybe it was just because I never understood the process, or saw any of his actual work.

My next aunt, Aunt Vera, whom I devoted a blog to a few weeks ago, was quite artistic in my eyes.  Early in life she did quite a few works in oil.  Her style was very realistic and calm in contrast to her older brother's work.

In later life, her flowers became her pallette as did cloth swatches.  Her magnificent perennial borders were known far and wide and certainly displayed her keen eye for design and detail.  She also took up rug hooking and joined a local guild.  These rugs were works of art, not to be sullied by trampling feet, but to grace walls.  My cousin inherited a beautiful oval one of irises - again the green eyed monster rears its ugly head.

Each of the nieces and nephews were fortunate enough to be the recipients of one or more gorgeous hand-pieced and hand-quilted quilts.  They were truly works of art, as she would travel far and wide to find the perfect matching prints, paisleys and calicoes to compliment each other. 
Aunt Vera loved colour and lots of it as you can see in the two examples I have of her handiwork.

The next aunt, was Muriel.  I have never seen any work that she produced in early life, so I am not sure whether this may have been something she took up in retirement. I know Aunt Muriel took night school courses in oil painting as well as a variety of other disciplines. I have two lovely pieces of her work.  One is Orville, the aged man in the Sou'wester and the other is a perfectly round still life of several roses.

The fourth sibling to show an artsy bent, was Aunt Edna.  Her medium was rug hooking, but a completely different style that Aunt Vera's big tapestries.  Aunt Edna's tended to be small, woodsy creations.  She especially liked toadstools and moss.  This example is a Christmas gift from her, several years prior to her death.

I'm glad some of the family genes passed on to future generations.  At some point I will devote a blog to my daughters' emerging portfolios.  Obviously the leaves haven't fallen too far from the family tree.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful stuff. By the way, G__ is the only one who got a quilt from me. I had planned to do one for all the nieces and nephews, but . . . life happened. Tell B__ not to give up hope!


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