The Intersection of Past and Present in Art

By | September 17, 2015

My friend Moana from the Studio824 blog just posted a lovely card that I want to share with you:

MoanaJ

You can read her entire post here about how she made it: https://studio824.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/a-whole-lot-of-lovely-2/

I told her that when I saw the card, it reminded me of a happy moment from my childhood; in this case it is the color and the main design element that triggered the memory.

When I was born my father was in the US Air Force and after he was discharged, he went to college on the GI Bill. I was just a little girl when my dad was an Industrial Arts and Education student, and I remember when, at the age of four, he had me sit for a portrait in the front room of our little rental house in Chico, CA. I was wearing a turquoise-colored diamond-quilted jumper with a white cardigan sweater underneath. I believe it was one of those mother-daughter outfits and that my mom had a dress just like it. It was the color of Moana’s card and the diagonal pattern that jogged my memory of that day. I still have the portrait on the wall of my bedroom, nearly 60 years later:

Valory Lee

“Valory” by E. Vernon Krause, 1958, oil on masonite

My dad doesn’t consider this a great work of art; he never felt that portraits were his strong point. But it’s special because my dad painted it for me and because I remember when he did it.

Over the years I have often thought, in a time of disaster, if we had to leave our home quickly, along with our family and pets, what one cherished thing would I most want to save, and my mind always goes to this picture. And now, as thousands of acres of California go up in smoke and hundreds of people are losing their homes to fires brought on by the drought, it is a sobering thought to know that there are many who have had to make those very real and heart-wrenching decisions as they flee for their lives.

May we all offer a prayer of protection for the firefighters and comfort to those who have lost so much, and that we will be blessed with abundant rain in the coming months.

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