Saturday, May 22, 2010
Sepia Saturday 5/22/10
It’s Sepia Saturday again here at Robert Frost’s Banjo after a two week layoff necessitated by whirlwind trips out to the Portland, Oregon area. & indeed, I should probably make it clear that this is a Sepia Saturday post, since the image you’re seeing isn’t sepia & isn’t even a photograph. But as I’m gearing up to start posting photos from my mother’s old family album, I thought it would be interesting to look at this watercolor painted by my great-aunt Arlene Paul—the painting shows my grandmother, Inez Atkinson & Arlene’s husband, Merle.
My grandmother used to go to visit Arlene & Merle at their home on Cape Cod in the summer, & some of my earliest memories are of their house & the nearby dunes. Arlene was a gifted musician—she played flute, violin & a number of other instruments, which she collected. Merle was a doctor—he told about the first baby he delivered on an island off the Cape; he was paid with a chicken!
Merle & Arlene both were kindly souls in my memory. Their home was the first place I encountered real butter (I grew up in a margerine household) & steamed clams. As a very young child, I didn’t have a taste for either—something that has changed with the years! I also remember Aunt Arlene playing her flute, & I recall seeing the instruments hanging on the walls.
My grandmother, Inez, seemed to love her trips down there. This painting was made in August 1966. My grandmother had less than a year to live at that point. It’s odd—the impressionistic figures are really appropriate, as both my grandmother & great-uncle Merle are vague in my own memory, tho I know both of them, as well as the artist Arlene, made deep impressions upon me.
Hope you enjoy the image, & be sure to check out other Sepia Saturday participants!