Friday, May 14, 2010

A Pretty Fish

Many years ago, before I was born, a canvas found its way into my grandmother's possession and she created what you see here. I don't know how she did it; talk of oils and pastels and anything else relating to putting a vision onto paper usually escapes me.

From what I understand from those who knew my mom's mom-- she died just months before I was born-- she didn't consider herself to be terribly talented. I somehow doubt my inexperienced opinion carries much weight in the art community, but I beg to differ. I find Grandmommy's work to be fantastically appealing, especially her use of color and, in this case, texture.

Every day I admire this painting; it's one of my favorites, but I can't help but wonder what its story is. What was Grandmommy thinking when she painted it? Was my mom running underfoot as the fish grew in her imagination? Did Grandmommy lose herself in the orange, blue and pink to drown out the noise of quarreling children? Or, rather, were the seeds of this painting visualized in late night hours after her three daughters were grown? How many troubles of later life were mixed in with the paint?

It doesn't matter, I suppose. With so many artistic endeavors, the interpretation is skewed by our own experiences. No matter how well something is conveyed, it is impossible to get inside someone else's head, and so, for now, I take it for what it is: a beautiful, brightly colored fish that brightens my home.


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sixty-five said...

Don't know if there is a date, but the paintings in that "group" were done mostly in the late sixties. Those were the years of the "Price Gallery" (the space above Dad's office on E Washington St). Paintings such as this one were usually dashed off pretty quickly, to create inventory for the gallery and for the weekend "art fairs" that the two of us participated in. I love it against the blue door!