Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Friday, 22 March 2013

We All Shine On

"We all shine on....like the moon and the stars and the sun..we all shine on, Everyone" John Lennon

We are celebrating artists this week in Sepia Saturday, and our prompt picture shows both photographic artists and those who work with paint, pastels and canvas. My own picture shows my late father, who was the real artist of our family. He had a talent for drawing from an early age, and illustrated his wartime journal with small line drawings and cartoons. Both he and my mother, who was equally talented at drawing, would sketch small pictures for me as a child, so that I could apply my own colours. Dad was a founder member of his local Art Society, where he became both Chairman and President and was made an honorary life member in recognition for his work. When Dad died last November, one of my painful duties was to write to the webmaster and ask him to remove Dad's work from their online gallery.

In the picture above, I don't think the peacock was the focus of his attention, but a fellow artist clearly thought it made an interesting image, and I'm glad they did. Peacocks are symbolic in art history and are often found in early Christian paintings and mosaics where they represent both immortality and renewal. Their feathers can be used to decorate churches during Easter. Through his paintings and pictures, and now through my blog, Dad is living on and our memory of him is greatly strengthened. As a Christian himself he would have been interested and delighted by the analogy.

"There is no death daughter. People only die when we forget them,' my mother explained shortly before she left me. 'If you can remember me, I will be with you always." Isabel Allende, Eva Luna.

Here he is again sketching on a family holiday in Northumberland some twenty five years ago. My daughter is sitting next to him, learning and gaining advice. At this age, my son was more concerned with running up the slope.



Dad also liked to take photographs, and as regular followers will know, he was always looking for unusual angles, poses and lighting. He may have been an amateur, but without his unique interpretations some of my Sepia Saturday posts would have been far less interesting.



In this shot he snapped the photographers from behind as we climbed onto an old tree trunk, the better to capture the breathtaking views. It was 1963 and I was on holiday with my parents in the Lake District. The daughter of family friends came along too. She looks as if she's looking down into the viewfinder whilst I try and steady myself and take my camera from the case. The view was of Lake Thirlmere.




This time I was the one who caught him on camera. The occasion was our Silver Wedding celebrations in 2000, and Dad had spotted a statue he wanted to record on film.




In 1988 my children took their cameras on a walk in the local country park near my parents' house. Dad snapped them both framing their shots of Alexandria Lodge in Bestwood Park, Nottinghamshire.


I wish I had the companion photograph to the one on the right but so far I have been unable to unearth it.


This one must have been taken a moment or two later and Dad's camera has been tucked away, but the image is frozen in time and Dad's smile shines on reminding us of a happy occasion; time spent with his grandchildren in a place he loved.





The artistic genes also live on. Here is my daughter that same year, and possibly during that same visit to her grandparents' house, as I recognise the decor.










And here is my son in 1994, fascinated by minibeasts and committing the images to movie film.




For more images saved for posterity go to Sepia Saturday and see what artistry other contributors have come up with using the prompt below.

25 comments:

  1. Such a beautifully told story and photos! It is an amazing thing to see a talent in one generation unfold in another.

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  2. A great story...long may he live in your heart.

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  3. Another fine tribute to an artist and photographer. Lovely photos especially the last.

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  4. So often a brief, recorded moment can speak volumes to us each time we revisit. Lovely post, Nell.

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  5. Have you posted any of your father's paintings? I'd love to see some samples in a future post. How nice that he passed his talents along to the grandchildren.
    Nancy

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  6. I was looking forward to seeing how this image would be interpreted, and your post has certainly not disappointed. It really does illustrate well the relationship between the photographer (or artist) and his or her subjects. Thank you for sharing the images.

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  7. What a beautiful remembrance through photos, nice his artistic genes live on.

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  8. Great pictures and story about all the artistic people in your family.

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  9. I suspect there is a genetic link to this love of images. And it doesn't really matter which medium is chosen. Perhaps its even wider than just images (painted or photographs) perhaps it is a love of recording and preserving. You obviously have the gene and I suspect that all Sepians have it.

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  10. Beautiful pictures. How wonderful it must be to have parents who give you sketches to color. You got them original. I got mine from a nearby art and book shop.

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  11. I really enjoy your words that stitch the photos so artfully into a larger whole. It's a good thematic photo that can inspire such a fine remembrance.

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  12. Marilyn, what lovely photos and stories of your Dad and your family. It makes me sad for you that he is gone, but I agree with the quote you posted. As long as we remember our loved ones, they are always with us.

    It is amazing to me that you guys can visit castles rather easily. That is one thing that we don't have, outside of a few replicas.

    Kathy M.

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  13. They say we all start with an Artistic (or should I say creative) talent, but it is driven out of most of us by growing up. Thankfully, a few manage to retain it.

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  14. Such a touching post. It is so true, the memory of our loved ones in our daily thoughts and conversations keep their spirit ever glowing. I know a few folks have thought me odd perhaps until they learn my ways, and those that do know me well understand when I go to visit my parents that have both left this earth now, I speak of my visit as if I were on my way to see them and not their resting place. They shall forever be.

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  15. A beautiful tribute to your father, with the memories captured in your photographs.

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  16. Is that Banbough Castle? And the photo of your Dad is just perfect!

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    1. No, Tony it's Lindisfarne - the castle not the folk band!

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  17. Good memories and good pictures.

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  18. Marilyn, Your pictures show clearly the love for art like a thread winding its way through your family. It is wonderful to have a fulfilling life.

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  19. Very nice memories, good photos. I could say more but this time I won't because they have triggered off so many thoughts in me...

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  20. When kids are young they are often very creative, but when they get older they forget about it and somehow loose that important part of life. I love to see your father so being involved in his art, I wish I had his talents (a four year old draws better than me). I hope your kids have inherited some of his talents (and some of the other family members' talents like yours) and use it for the rest of their life.

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  21. A nostalgic post....
    "People only die when we forget them",
    something I strongly believe in,
    so I know my grandma and ma still live on,
    in my heart...

    On a side note, why did you have his artwork remove from their website?
    Just asking...
    You know me.
    Always the awkward question...
    ;)~
    HUGZ

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    1. Thanks TB. Awkward answer on its way to you!

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  22. You had me at the peacock! Don't know why I love them so much but I do.

    Such a loving tribute to your father!

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