Today I thought I would share some of the prints and paintings that we have collected over the years. The last one I added was in 2011, and you can read about it in my post here. These pieces usually have something sentimental about them, and it was our thing to buy a scene in the town or city we had lived in for a while. We moved frequently in our navy days and there was always a print we would take with us, a little memento of a special place that meant a lot to us.
The painting above is one that gives me a connection to my Dad. It was a gift to him on his retirement (his second career after the police force) at a solicitor's office. We moved down to Devon when Dad retired from the Staffordshire Police Force. We had been going to Devon twice a year for the previous eight years, and Mom and Dad always talked about moving there permanently when the time was right. After six months of living in Devon he learned that an acquaintance of his from the old days - a solicitor (known as a lawyer to those of us in the States) - had moved down to Devon and set up a practice in Torquay. He knew my Dad lived nearby and asked if he would go to work for him. Dad said yes. Years later his friend had long retired and moved to Spain, and a few years after that had passed on. Dad in the meantime had gotten used to the people who took over and continued working until his early 70s. He enjoyed his work but he knew when it was time to move on, so he retired for the second time and this was one of the gifts he was given from his colleagues. It is a scene painted by a local artist in Torbay - I'm almost positive but not 100 percent sure that it is Goodrington. This came to me when Dad passed on 18 years ago and it is my most treasured possession.
These next three paintings I bought in the town of Worcester. By this time I had been living in the States and when Gregg put out to sea for six months, I often went back home to visit my parents and also my sister and her husband. They lived about a couple of hundred miles north from my Mum and Dad, in the county of Worcestershire. I remember passing the old Tudor house (above) many times on our walks around the city, and not too far away I saw this painting in a shop window. My sister and I ventured inside and not only did I buy this one, but also the two below. The owner of the shop was also the artist.
Above, the town of Pershore in the distance. My sister and brother-in-law lived in a tiny village not far away. I walked many times alongside the River Avon and watched the barges and other small craft go back and forth. Gregg and I had done this when we first drove up north to introduce him to my sister and her husband, as did my family and I for many years before that. It was a favorite walk of ours.
The third and last painting (above) I bought from the same shop in Worcester. I had always had a soft spot for white geese and when I saw this I fell in love with it. The artist called it "The Three Graces", a title which I've occasionally borrowed for a blog post when I have shared a photograph I thought was appropriate. I had quite a time carrying them on the airplane when I eventually went back home but I didn't want to put them in the cargo hold. I managed!
The village scene above is unknown to me. I found it years later when I drove by a shop - and did a quick u-turn - called The English Cottage in Manassas. When I stepped inside it was like being home again, and it reminded me of my village in Devon, the church looked very similar. Little did I know years later when I practically fell into a job working in a small British gift shop and tea room, that the owner of that place had also once been the owner of The English Cottage. It is no longer in existence and closed some time ago but I still have my print to remember it by.
Now, the picture above isn't actually a print but a photograph I took when Gregg and I visited family in North Dakota. I turned it into a 'painting' with the special effects on my Paint Shop Pro. This was one of the old programs and I loved how it turned out. When I lost it in a computer crash I bought a new PSP, but, I have as not yet been able to create the same effect. Still working on that!
Above you can see the old Spanish Mission, the Mission Basilica San Diego de Acala. It was one of a pair that I bought from the same artist just before we left San Diego for Virginia. The other was the Hotel Del Coronado. I would have shown it here but I couldn't get a decent shot of it and there was no way I was taking it off the wall today. It would have taken forever. Funny thing is that it wasn't until years later that I actually got to see the mission, when I tagged along on one of Gregg's business trips in September 2010 and we both got to see it for the first time. I posted those photos here.
Here is another, Mission San Carlos Borromeo del rio Carmelo, also known as the Carmel Mission. Back in the early 80s, Gregg went to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. Again, when we knew we were leaving, I visited the gift shop inside the school and bought this off the artist. Carmel is the next town over and we visited often, especially loving walking along the beach. Here again, never saw the actual mission but you've got to save something for the next time right? A good excuse to go back.
The one of the steps is again an actual photograph that I turned into another painting, in a different style to the other. I never have been able to recreate the technique since I lost that first program. You can find those steps at the Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk, Virginia.
I couldn't fit the frame in no matter how often I tried so this one comes without the frame. More geese, of the Canada Goose variety. I used to frequent a small shop in Occoquan and actually sold Christmas ornaments I had made to the owner. One day when I was dropping off a box of ornaments, she was sitting with the gentleman who was the artist of this Canada Geese and they were drinking a cup of coffee. I was asked to join them and I chatted to the man about his art. He had several that I had greatly admired, this one in particular. After he left I mentioned that I loved this particular print and the lady and I negotiated a deal, a box of ornaments for the print. I thought it was a very good deal.
The last print I have absolutely no memory of where I bought it. All I remember is seeing it, loving it and wanting to buy it for our guest room, which we were still decorating not having been in our new home for very long. I have always been captivated by the Amish way of life and this scene was so inviting and look, there are those white geese in the picture. I left the shop with it under my arm.
This little piece of folkart is also in our guest room. In those days I sold my ornaments mostly at craft shows, and I often bought items from fellow crafters. This Amish Scene came from a lady who had a table across from mine. We enjoyed chatting during the down times and at the end of the day we bought each others wares.