Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Background Story About Jade

Jade
acrylic on wood panel
2013


When I painted Jade back in 2013, I used an image of Whistler's Arrangement in Grey: Portrait of the Painter as my guide for color.  However, as you can see  when comparing the image below I didn't stick to the plan as my painting is far more green.  The image of the girl is a loose rendering from a photo of my aunt at the age of 14.  I was not trying to capture my aunt, I just wanted her pose and Whistler's colors, but in the end it did seem to capture her somewhat.


Arrangement in Grey:  Portrait of the Painter
James McNeill Whistler
scanned image from Whistler by Frances Spalding



 I almost sold my painting, but after having it around for a while decided it was best to keep it.  There was just something too special about it for me.  It now hangs in the entryway of our house along with a vintage find and an old photo of my grandparents and other Missouri mining workers and wives in 1930.  My aunt was the one who gave me that photo years ago and I had it professionally framed for my mother who kept it until she passed away last July.  Our new-to-us old house was also built in 1930 which adds to the meaning of this old picture.


The images that greet you at our house
2015

photo detail

My grandparents are the couple on the left, and the couple on the right are my great aunt and uncle I am told, though I never met them.  

The inspiration for Jade
AKA Mary Imogene

Wasn't she a pretty girl?


32 comments:

  1. gosh lisa... everything about this post...

    i love jade, and it feels to me like she was meant to hang on the wall with the other pictures. and *yes* mary imogene is beautiful!

    you have such a knack for patterns...

    xoxo

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    1. Thanks my friend. I think she was meant to hang there too. Patterns are fun, there is a certain balance they offer if done correctly though I am not sure I even know what correct is. I just place patterns in places that are pleasing to me. Though I know someone else might prefer it differently.

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  2. Beautiful pictures, I love looking at pictures of the past.

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  3. You were right to hold on to her. She is lovely and looks perfect hanging where she is.

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  4. Yes, she was a pretty girl as is your version, Lisa. I'm glad you kept the painting for yourself. It's important to do that once in a while as artists. Happy August days to you. xo

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    1. Hi Carole. I think it's important to keep our own art too. I used to want to hang onto everything and now I probably let things go sometimes too quickly. Thank you for your comment! xo

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  5. Beautiful post, Lisa! Love your painting and wonderful photos!!!

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    1. Thank you Hilda. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

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  6. Love this post and feel blessed that I have seen them in person.

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    1. Thank you Julie. Fond memories of our lovely visit always.

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  7. She was a gorgeous girl, Lisa. I love Jade; the eyes just have it here. I also love seeing the old family photo!

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  8. How wonderful, Lisa! That you painted your relative using a historical artist's concept, and making it your own, with your signature style... it really does give the portrait a historical significance, like a family heirloom antique. Beautiful on the wall there!

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    1. Hi Katherine. I think the work we leave behind is a treasure for our families and especially for those of us lucky enough to have family members that love and appreciate art as we do. Thanks so much for your comment. I really did enjoy browsing through your blog the other day.

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  9. Katherine has expressed my point of view so accurately. Between honoring your old new home, your family, and your history through your paintings, you are adding to your legacy. You share so much of yourself it is as if we viewers know and love you.

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    1. Hi Carol. I am glad you said that about sharing. It is important to me to be open and share, but I am also so cautious...the internet is such a vulnerable place to be open with others. I really thank you for your comment.

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  10. I see so much hope in the young faces looking out from that photo! Thank you
    for sharing all of this. Your new home fits you perfectly!

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    1. Hello Patty! We really are enjoying this old house. I smile each time I take the creaky stairs. :) I love how young they look too...love how you put it...with hope in their faces. I often say that in heaven I want to be twenty-something, but a lot more mature. :)
      Thanks for your nice comment. I absolutely love my Hurley painting. He (both painting and dog) keep me company in my studio. xo

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  11. Hearing the inspiration for this painting makes it all the more beautiful. Yes, she was a pretty girl and you captured that in your painting. I love the arrangement that welcomes guests into your home. It says a lot about you and your feelings about family.

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    1. Those are very nice words. Thank you Janet. Have a great weekend!

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  12. Your work us always beautifully nostalgic and I love the photos with create such a strong link with the past.

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    1. Thank you Morag. I have always felt a pull to old photographs and painting from them is like getting to go back in time for just a spell.

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  13. Lisa - just loved reading your story about this painting and seeing the old vintage photos. Glad you decided to keep it - sometimes some paintings just need to stay with the one who created it. It looks wonderful with your display friend. Have a great week.

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    1. Hi Debbie. I am glad I kept it too and she is not the only one I've kept over the years. I read some time ago that if you think you might regret selling a piece then you should not do it and I heard that loud and clear...maybe too clear. I have kept so many that I have had to store them, but that's okay. Perhaps my family will be really glad I did so once I am gone.

      Happy week to you!

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  14. what a fabulous painting...you just nailed it! Love this post, learning your thoughts makes the painting more meaningful --just wonderful!

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