Was it THAT long ago?

serious-graham I have been clearing an old hard drive and came across this photo from the last year of the last century. Graham and Marguerite were at our place for dinner and the guys were hamming it up for the camera. I’m glad I found it and wish I had been able to give it to Gillian for her memorial slideshow at last week’s gathering.

w-e-andersen-paintingHere’s another image I didn’t know I had … a painting by my grandfather, W.E. Anderson. He was Helen’s father, a physician by profession, but an ardent amateur painter, too. I believe my brother has the picture.

I see how grandfather probably thought this was how “serious” painting should be done. A serious man, seriously old and sage, reading a seriously thick book with intense concentration. A borrowed “Thinker” fist-to-mouth from Rodin, a full bookshelf, taste in art objects implied by the ceramic vase.

There is a kind of paint-by-numbers naiveté about it, and at the same time, serious ambition. The old man/books theme was probably borrowed from Rembrandt, whom grandfather properly admired greatly. Helen liked to recall that he “owned a Rembrandt” that was lost in a disastrous house fire. I think he probably did own a Rembrandt etching that went up in smoke.

While I’m reminiscing, I may as well recall what my grandmother was reported to have said to her daughter, consoling herself after the fire. “Well, at least your father still has his education, and I have my permanent hairdo”.

2 thoughts on “Was it THAT long ago?

  1. That’s a hilarious picture of you & Graham….i bet he would have had a good laugh.

    And a comment about your grandfather’s painting – I think it’s hanging in your brother’s house, not sure if they call it the study or office but it’s the perfect spot. Maybe Jack can verify, if he sees this…

  2. Top pic is fun!

    The grandfather picture reminds me of how much responsibility he carried to attempt to heal people around him. Fencing and fur trade, trading post diet change and family separation.
    (September 30th has been declared Orange Shirt Day annually, in recognition of the harm the residential school)
    In WE Anderson painting I believe his furrowed brow was while he searched for an answer.

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