Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Edith Emery - Artist

My Nana Emery (to distinguish from my other, Sicilian Nana) was an artist, as much as being a full time mom allowed. She and Grandpa had four kids (my Dad is number 2), and they were a handful. They started having those kids during the Great Depression. Nana and Grandpa had eighth grade educations (a pretty common stopping point back then). They worked hard, and did well (Grandpa was ultimately an engineer with IBM, and retired in his 50's). They lived to be over 90, and were married over 70 years. And Nana learned to draw and paint, taking some lessons, as I recall her saying, and won awards for her work. The paintings are scattered around the family. Some were sold, as well.

The drawing here was sent to me, frame and all, by an aunt who married into the family and then divorced. She and my uncle divided three Nana artworks. When Nana passed away, a month ago, the aunt thought maybe one of us might particularly like the drawing. She found me on the web, saw my work, and offered it to me. I was happy to accept such a generous gift. So this piece now hangs in my office at work, where I also have a few of mine up (mine rotate as I paint new ones). It's wonderful, to me, to see Nana's artistic legacy spread over my walls there, and it will remind me of the aunt, as well.

This scene was drawn (oil crayon, I think) from a photo the uncle had taken on a trip in Idaho. I love the way Nana's lines in this drawing make the land (under snow?) appear stretched over the bones beneath. I sense the thrust of the mountains, and of the trees. It's a pleasure to look at it while I'm on the phone, and to see it first thing each morning when I get to work. She was a bold, fun loving, laughing person, with boundless energy. I recall that their visits to us, usually staying a week or two in the summer, were fun but exhausting, because Nana never stopped moving, talking, doing... Grandpa also had to be always busy (or he'd fall asleep in a chair, "Just resting my eyes!" he'd insist). I see Nana's vitality and confidence in the way she handled her lines, her darks, her contrast. She was a bold painter, and a bold person. She's a good example for me. I plan to learn a lot from this drawing. Click on the image for a larger view.

>>>> Appendix de Grenouille <<<<

The subject is in his kitchen, playing with his food. This is Chef Etienne. Would you eat food prepared by this man?

Consider with caution...

Au revoir,

Grenouille

10 comments:

linda said...

how cool to have a piece of art your grandmother made and I love it too....thank you for sharing it and also for the shot of you playing with your food - is it the peppers again? I am not a pepper lover, as you might have guessed! :)

Steve Emery said...

Linda - It IS very cool to have my Nana's drawing in my office next to my paintings. Visible connections.

And, yep, it's the peppers again. I grew those, and dearest took the photo (she suggested it, actually).

DebD said...

What a lovely connection with your Nana. We have several pieces from my husband's grandfather (whom I never met) and I'm thankful for that connection.

Steve Emery said...

DebD, thanks. And to think, if it weren't for the generosity of the aunt who was willing to pass it on, I wouldn't have it. I'd have a connection, to be sure, but not that reminder.

Utah Savage said...

Steve, You just left me the most beautifully written comment and compliment I have ever, and I mean ever received. Thank you so much. I now have one male friend I like to go to movies with, but I have never read such sensitive and insightful comments from any man. I am deeply touched. Thank you for reading and for remembering. That you can tell me a line from a poem of mine... That's more than thrilling to an unpublished writer.

Utah Savage said...

Also you and Diva Jood and I are the bloggers with the self portraits. It makes me feel connected instantly to an avatar that is painted by the blogger. That includes you Linda.

Utah Savage said...

Steve, I'd like to post your emailed comment on the fiction. I'm working on a piece called "On Writing," and it is your comment that inspired this post. I will hold it in edit form until I hear from you.

Steve Emery said...

Utah Savage - Please do what you like with my e-mailed comment. I sent it that way to put you in control of the privacy.

And I can't get some of your images out of my head today. Lucy's pose before the UPS truck was humanly audible. All that cashmere (and sleeping in it). The description of the second hand bicycle (and using it to gauge growth). The trees dripping like umbrellas. The sound of Maggy's voice in my head - a very particular voice - a voice I can easiily understand escaping from on the second hand bicycle...

Utah Savage said...

You're so kind. Thank you. I am finishing editing the last chapter. I wrote it quickly becase it was so painful to me--like ripping off a bandage on tender skin. Now I have to search for every typo and misused it--I tend to say it's when I mean its. Like a facial tick, I can't seem to catch it. I am a poor speller so I rely overly on spellcheck. So I miss much, like vane for vain, or bare for bear. Tedious work. I write quickly all at once, usually, but edit slowly looking for errors I don't even know exist.

Thanks for permission to use your comment. I treat email differently than I do comments made in a fairly public place. Usually I let the commenter in the public square have their say, unless I think it's cruel or becomes a hostile takeover of my space.

I'm hoping you haven't felt as if I took over your public square today, but the post I'm writing for the blog can't be finished without your permission.

DCup said...

I am so in awe of your artistic abilities. I think that's a wonderful link to your family. Your nana's drawing is beautiful.

And, yes, I would definitely eat food prepared by that man as long as I could hang out, chatting with MLight while he cleaned up after. ;-)