Today, that obsession has turned into quite the collection of paintings I’ve done of those very photographs. In almost every room of my house, one of my ancestors is watching over you. By the time I was sixteen, I had already lost all my grandparents, and half of them were gone before I was even born. Painting them is my way of honoring them. And let’s be honest, I dig the clothing.
Are you still wondering about the ostrich? The top painting is from a photo taken in 1920 of my grandfather, James Oscar Jessen. He’s the one on the bird. The other fellow is an un-named army buddy. If I have no other source of pride in my life, I will always have the fact that my grandfather rode an ostrich.
The painting above is from the other side of the family; my mother’s parents and two younger sisters. The photo was taken not long before my grandmother passed away, leaving an entire slew of young ones alone with Grandpa. Even though I never knew my grandma Grace, I feel connected to her through this painting. And look, we even have the same glasses!
That is the magic of art, isn’t it? What paintings have significance in your life?