There are several special paintings/prints from my childhood which fascinated me. I possess three of them.
First, is a painting/print (I think it’s a fake oil) from my Grandma’s house that used to hang in the living room. I really should take a photo of it; but for now, since it’s not hanging, let me tell you about it. It’s a dark haired lady in a gorgeous kimono. I always thought it was a painting of my mother. It’s not, but as a kid that’s what I believed.
Then there are two paintings that are just gone and that makes me sad. Two paintings of roses that used to hang in my Grandma’s bedroom (aka the blue bedroom). I always wondered about them, and when I was a little older I asked my Grandma where she got them and she told me that they were paint-by-number paintings that my Grandpa had done. This is so out-of-line with my memories of my Grandpa. He was a businessman. He was stern. He was the man who made my Grandma believe that he would not allow her to gain weight (!). On the other hand, the Harris business was photography and the “colored” photos had the color added by hand painting. Incredibly delicate work. I used to love to see my Cousin Shirley Mae work on these. I wish I had asked more about the paintings that my Grandpa did.
Then there are a pair of prints of art by Bessie Pease Gutmann, which I still have. I love the art of Bessie Pease Gutmann. Watercolors of children. The pair that hung in our house is of a little girl with a dog; one the same little girl is letting the dog lick her ice cream cone; and the second is the same girl and dog standing in the corner. I always believed I was the little girl – even though we never had a dog – and I always felt indignant about being made to stand in a corner when clearly it was all the stupid dog’s fault.
Even then my imaginary life was pretty well formed!