Sunday, July 21, 2019

How to grow an artist

An Artist’s life (as seen from her older sister’s point of view-me)

            It’s not easy being the youngest of four children.
(It’s not easy being the oldest of those same four children either, but I digress.)
            Nor is it easy being the child of parents who move every 2 – 3 years. Which meant that those children had to say good-bye to old friends (and enemies). And suddenly were faced with the chore of exploring a new neighborhood (fun) and finding new friends (not so much fun.)
            But this was the life that my baby sister,Marion, was born into.
            Now, you might have noticed that her name was not spelled right.  Girls are called Marian, and boys are called Marion. Boys!  But there was nothing she could do about her name. It wasn’t hers in the first place.  It had been her Grandmother’s name.  (In the hopes that she would inherit something from her grandmother – which she eventually did. But not until after many years and after having enjoyed the company of her grandmother and the stories she told.  
Oh, the stories she told. But again, I digress.)
            All of the other children loved this new addition to the family.  Who couldn’t love her?  She had her mother’s blue eyes.  She had blond, curly hair. (who knows where that came from – some German aunt from her mother’s side, or maybe the Jewish side of the family) And a smile that could melt the hardest frozen heart.
            There were always books in the house. And, with so many people in the family, there was always someone around who would read these books to her.
            There also was always pencils, paper, crayons, and even sometimes – paint. Since there were several famous artists in the family, every child was encouraged to make crafts or draw and paint.  Television had recently been invented.  The family owned one of the first of these new machines – because Dad worked for Sylvania.  However, it only worked in the evenings.  During the day, Sylvania’s broadcasting company only sent out a Test Pattern.
            Because there were famous musicians in the family, musical instruments also traveled along with the family moves, carefully packed. Usually Violins (a great uncle had been a child prodigy) and rhythm instruments. And, if the parents thought the family was going to stay in one place for a while, they’d get a piano. Each child was encouraged to learn an instrument.  
            Her older sister, Sandy, became quite a good violinist.  But dropped the violin when the family moved to Parkersburg, West Virginia in favor of learning to paint. (She eventually decided she couldn’t do people’s faces, so every person in her portraits had their back to the viewer.)
            Her oldest sister, Wendie, gave up the piano for the bassoon and singing in the choir.  All of them, including Dad, would pound on the piano – especially around Christmas Time – singing Carols. 
            Her brother Don, collected snakes.  Played drums until his parent’s couldn’t stand the noise any longer and convinced him to pay trumpet (badly).

(Marion replied)
I remember living in Glen Ellyn, IL. Falling out of the window in the house in Pottstown, PA, is a family myth to me, although I have no doubt Don pushed me...  (me= I actually saw her fall, being in the room right below the children's bedroom.  I rushed out and found her in the bed of ivy. She missed the sidewalk by about a foot. After a night in the hospital, the doctors declared her fully recovered )

 (Marion says)
My art aspirations began in Vienna when Mom sent me to Dorothy Decker for painting lessons. In junior high I decided that being a portrait sketch artist on the boardwalk had to be the most glamorous job in the world. I started practicing drawing famous people in the 8th grade. I never did get that job though. As an adult I did work an art fair as a sketch artist & discovered I just wasn't fast enough. I was distracted by my friends too much.
 I discovered I had a talent for painting dogs in 2001 quite by accident. I was working on a painting of Jamie & one of our dogs & noticed that it quickly became "Dog with Girl" instead of "Girl with Dog".

I don't remember much about our dachshund , Dachel (sp?), except being very sad when Dad gave him away to our milkman after the rotten Kelly boys teased him so much he bit one of them. 
(me= the Kelly boys lived next door, and they were really rotten.)

My husband Rob is a cat person. Since college I've always had both dogs & cats. Currently we have 2 cats & one dog. For well over 10 years we had two cats & two 40 lb Portuguese Water Dogs (like president Obama). We had them way before he did though.
             Just a taste of our family memories. 

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