Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Where Did I Get It From?

Where did I get what from? My painting ability. My three brothers are musical, philosophical and athletic. My father is literary and intellectual, my mother has a wonderful sense of beauty. No one else does painting or art. None of my aunts, uncles, grandparents (all of my grandparents sounds like I had a room full. Well, I had a fab step grandmother as well as the real ones, and she actually was a painter and potter) - none of my cousins and I have about a million of them, paint. They are creative, and lots are musical, some of them write but none for a living. So how come I can and do paint and do it professionally?

Here now is the interesting bit. My uncle Bernard is an artist. He is now a painter and married Maureen who is also a talented artist. Both are retired and my uncle is now painting from his studio, and I think my aunt is too. Fab. They are talented and fun, and I am so interested in what they do now.

My aunt Kit was and is the original Fairy for me. She is so tiny, pretty and funny and oh could she paint. I think it was the source of unhappiness for her, she was prevented from a scholarship to an art school when she was young because it was not a Catholic school. But oh, I would arrive at Kits flat in Birmingham when I was a little girl, and behind her front door on the wall was the most magical mural. Painted by Kit, with detail, skill, love and imagination. A thing of magic, covering the whole wall. Kit was dismissive about it, and the next time I would go, it was painted over. And in the sitting room were tiny pebbles selected for their shape, and exquisite patterns and designs painted on them to make them into fairy creatures.

And my Father's mother was creative. Could arrange flowers. And my mother can sew the most complicated things with style and ease. And here is something else. My Great Grandfather wrote nine volumes of his life story. My aunt sent me an extract in which he describes his time in Paris, where he had a studio and seemed to be sculpting. (His wife and nine children were in England). He was a director for Burberrys and so was not an artist but this is what he wrote - "...whether I had become a real artist or meandered along as a second, or third rate trier, life would have been, I think, more full and less drab than the hard material, moneygrubbing existence I have had to lead.

Then I say to myself, if you had leanings that way, why did you not do it? The old stupid answer suggests itself - I knew nothing about it till too late."

Poor Great Grandpa. I had better go and do my Jesus on the Tube, my Angels, my Flowers of Happiness (for the Open Studios in 2 weeks time) and my Steve paintings.

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