Sunday, June 30, 2013

Vintage Paintings

While scrounging around in the my basement recently,
I came across a few paintings stacked in a corner
that I had somehow forgotten about over the years.

As I sorted through them,
I found myself smiling at the sweet memories they evoked in my heart.

This painting that was given to me a long time ago by someone who was going to toss it.
I grabbed it and stuffed it in my car.
I loved this tranquil scene with its soft edges and quiet feel.

I temporarily propped it in front of the large mirror on top of the bookcases in my studio
next to the vintage hatbox that my friend, Randi, gave me (top hatbox).
[I wallpapered the hatbox in a pretty blue floral print.]

Another painting that I rescued from the abyss in my basement was one that was created by my great grandmother, Grace Whitman.
It's approximately 60 years old.
(I think she may have had a bit of bohemian hippy in her sweet old soul.)

I always loved Grandma's name.

After some ancestory research many years ago,
it was discovered that I am related to Walt Whitman.
How cool is that?
Maybe that's where my love of writing, photography, and nature is rooted.

Three generations of my father's side of the family dabbled in painting on canvas.
My great-grandmother, Grace,
my grandmother, Lorena,
and my father, Gordon.

My Dad even helped my Mom paint a still-life once.
Dad painted his first and Mom loved it so much,
she wanted to try to make one.

I can vividly remember him sitting by her side at the kitchen table
evening after evening,
guiding her hand and patiently teaching her some basics of oil painting.

Of all the paintings I have, I treasure these two the most.
The one he painted is the smaller one on the right.
Mom's is the larger one on the left.

I feel blessed to own paintings from each of them.

This beautiful rose painting was originally purchased at the big Brimfield Flea Market,
found a temporary home with Stephanie Bradley,
and landed a forever home at Heaven's Walk.

Thank you, my sweet friend!

The blush pink rose painting on the right was purchased for a song at the Allegan Antique Market last summer. I couldn't pass up the soft pastel colors.

It's almost like a garden is blooming on the frantle in my kitchen.
The tangled prairie hearts I made lay scattered like silver petals...

"Little Girl Sitting" was painted by my father over 45 years ago
when he was a rookie student in his first painting class.
It's one of the largest of the paintings he created.
When I was just a child, I remember him saying that it reminded him of me.
It used to hang in the entry foyer of my childhood home.

"Be The Light" was another one of his creations.
I always loved this painting because of the beautiful shades of blues.
It was the main reason why I ended up getting married on the beach in front of a lighthouse in northern Michigan 29 years ago.
I also fell in love with coastal Maine when I attended a friend's wedding out there one summer,
where the Husband and I stayed in a bed & breakfast inn on the coast
and fell asleep each night to the sound of frothy blue waves crashing on the rocky shore.

and evidence of God-given talent
surrounds me in my studio.

It feels like great-Grandma Grace,
Grandma Lorena,
my mom and my dad
are right here with me.

Love poured onto canvas.

I can almost see them all smiling
as I work with my hands.
And  although I never quite captured an interest in painting on canvas,
I pour my own love into creating my dream catchers and rosaries.

"The most wonderful moment of the day is that when creation in its innocence asks permission to "be" once again, 
as it did on the first morning that ever was."
~Thomas Merton, 'A Book of Hours'

~ "Be" the Blessing ~

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  1. What a wonderful post! Love your sweet painting collection.



  2. What beautiful paintings and wonderful memories.... I love to surround myself with flowers and when one cannot surround themselves with summer flowers, paintings are the next best thing. How sweet that your father painted a little girl and how she reminded him of you... HUGS!

  3. I so agree, the paintings are so beautiful and to have those wonderful memories. I am following you on the bloglovin.

  4. The Little Girl painting by your dad shows he is a talented painter, and I also like the two side by side flowers in a vase paintings that he and your mom painted. There is lots of artistic talent in your family.

  5. Dear Laurie,

    I am sitting here bawling my eyes out.

    For your Grandma Grace and your parents, and my parents - gone but not forgotten.

    I absolutely treasure this amazing post.

    Bless you and your lovely creations - including your blog!

  6. Laurie,
    Beautiful paintings and memories in your studio! it is nice to feel that love each day even though they are no longer with you!

  7. Love your "art work shelf" in your studio! So I'd love to know if your studio is an actual room, a space in an area of your house, downstairs or upstairs...I'm nosy, I guess!

  8. Beautiful paintings darlin.....enjoy summer have fun Ria...x !

  9. Beautiful paintings with wonderful stories behind them Laurie! I transferred all the blogs I follow over to Bloglovin' so I think I have my bases covered...I hope!

  10. What a wonderful post ...and such beautiful paintings, they are your little treasures, my dad also made a few paintings and i know one day i will own them and i will be so grateful for these lasting memories.
    have a lovely summer
    love caroline xx

  11. Oh sweetie, they are all just fabulous!... I am sooo happy you brought them up from the basement and now they live happily~ever~after in your studio, where they look just gorgeous!... my favorites of all are the ones your mama and your daddy painted... but the memories each of them holds will stay with you forever, and you will feel your loved ones right there with you as you create your own special beauty in your dreamcatchers and rosaries... like you, I place my tangled Prairie hearts all over our house... I just love the ones you made just for me, merci!... wishing you a beautiful day, creating or just relaxing in your studio... a perfect place to daydream of days~gone~by and the promises of all the beauty in life that lies ahead... love you!... xoxo Julie Marie

  12. PS I do not do facebook... PLEASE email me with your latest creations! I don't want to miss a thing... I imported all my blogs over to bloglovin, although my followers is still there as well... so I will be updated on your blog always...

  13. It is so special that you have beautiful painting done by your own family! What a blessing!!

  14. Love them all and especially the meanings and feelings behind them. Nothing has changed on my blog yet. Still have the followers list and the reader. Wonder if they changed their minds?

  15. such a talented family you have, laurie! they really make a statement grouped together--family treasures--gotta love them:) have a great week!

  16. Laurie, what beautiful things you are blessed to have from a very talented family. Great treasures for you to have the pleasure of taking care of!


  17. Gorgeous Paintings Laurie!
    I especially love the little girl with the apples. Adorable and peaceful.


  18. Oh so sweet-love all your painting!!!The small girl is so...♥
    Have a nice week dear Laurie!

  19. Laurie, you are so blessed to have such wonderful memories through your paintings! How talented a family you have. Loving your studio.

    Peggy~PJH Designs

  20. Wow Laurie, so many amazing painting! I really love the roses in the vase (just above the girl sitting portrait!). Your work room is so lovely too; and peaceful! if only mine was half as neat and tidy!! It has a real serene feeling to it!
    happy 4th of july my friend!!
    Laura xx

  21. You are so blessed to have grown up with a family of artists...and to now have their little works surrounding you as you work. What a lovely thought of your dad teaching mom to paint. Just awesome. I'm inspired to dust off my oil paints. It's been far too long. I love your studio. That chair slip is so pretty. Happy 4th!

  22. Well, talent runs deep in your family, that's for sure! What treasures you have in those beautiful paintings. I just love them. In my opinion, Walt Whitman is the greatest American poet, ever. Just the mention of his name gets me itching to read "Leaves of Grass", his writings go straight to my heart. Did you know he was a nurse during the Civil War, and took care of the soldiers? Now, I must read some of his poetry for Independence Day!

  23. I can see where your creative talent comes from Laurie ! How lovely to own such lovely treasures from your family ...lovely ! Gail x

  24. Hello
    This is such a beautiful post. Surrounded by such beauty. Thanks for linking up with us at Thursdays Favorite Things Hop.

  25. So beautiful Laurie - I think my favorite ( am I allowed to have a favorite? ) is the one your father did as a student - what incredible talent!!!
    And how special to have it all surround you everyday - gently reminding you of the gifts you inherited..................

  26. This was such a lovely post. I really enjoyed reading the stories behind the paintings.

  27. How lucky are you to have such lovely paintings!And they fit perfectly in your beautiful home!

  28. Oh my goodness! These are soooo lovely and look wonderful how you have them displayed.

  29. Hi Laurie! I love the paintings. My favorite one is of the young girl with the apples (or are they pomegranates) on her lap. Beautiful. I love your header picture too. It looks so serene and cheery. I'm following you via Bloglovin'. I hope you can follow me back. (Breaking Rules Party).

    All the best,


  30. have just discovered your beautiful blog and subscribed- nice to meet you.

    I'm Mary, from New Zealand. and I'll be here often enjoying the works of your hands.

  31. How wonderful Laurie! I just adore these paintings you've shared. It's so special that some were painted by your dear loved ones. The sweetest is the girl sitting - I imagine you looked a lot like her. :)
    These will be cherished treasures for many years. And they look perfect in your home, serving as inspiration as you nurture your very own amazing creative spirit. I'm not surprised you've got genes from Walt Whitman!

  32. Love the Little Girl Sitting painting. Your father is very talented artist. That painting must have a special place in your heart.

    Love all the vintage art.


  33. They are all beautiful but must say I LOVE The Little Girl Sitting, oh my...she'as a beauty!
    Thanks so much for sharing these beauties at AMAZE ME MONDAY, I hope you'll be a regular...

  34. Your father had a great talent, his pictures are just beautiful. I love the Little Girl Sitting and the lighthouse waterscape. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

  35. Laurie,
    Hello sweet friend, somehow I missed this post!
    I adore all of your oil paintings. . .
    especially those painted by your family members!!!
    YOU, dear friend, are an artist!!!
    You have a different and unique choice of medium!
    Let the creating on Heaven's walk continue. . .

  36. Awwww, that's so sweet... What a touching post, and the paintings look really pretty all grouped on the shelf like that.


  37. Laurie, I love how you have these cherished paintings grouped together. Your father had amazing talent. I love the tenderness of him guiding your mothers hand. It is as though you have them with you in your studio. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  38. What lovely paintings Laurie. So much history and memories tied up in them. Thank you for sharing it at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week!


  39. Love this, Laurie - these are true treasures - beautiful. My mother was very artistic and I got my talent from her - Dad loved cooking and grandmother wrote poems - it is a blessing to feel that deep connection with your family and to see these traits passed along. I do appreciate you shairng with Home and Garden Thursday,

  40. Hello Laurie, I wanted to share that your heartwarming post will be featured in this week's Home and Garden Thursday Party.
    I appreciate you sharing,

  41. Another beautiful post with links to your past Laurie. Obviously your creativity is a gift you inherited from your dad's family and how lovely that you still have some of their beautiful art to remind you of them.
    Hugs ~ Kerryanne

  42. Visiting from Ahola Friday. I'd like to invite you to my Friday Flash Blog, where you can share your best blog entry of the week! The party goes on ALL weekend at And who knows, you may just get featured next week.

  43. They are so amazing; this is what I call art. I simply love them and I find myself at a loss of words, I especially love the one with the sea and the one with the house by what assume it is a lake. This is unique an inspiring artwork.

    Online Doctorate

  44. Oh Laurie this was such a beautiful post. "Love poured onto canvas" gave me goosebumps and really does say it all. xoxo


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