Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I Found More Paintings

While it isn’t like I didn’t know where they were, but they weren’t close to home. Some were at Jo’s sister’s place in Canon City and others were at Jo’s other sister’s place in Tulsa. While there are a lot more at my sister’s, we weren’t in that area this fall and winter.

On our vacation to Colorado, we stayed at Jo’s sister’s there since we could save money by not pulling the Mobile Suites all the way up there and back. In addition to some of my mother’s paintings, she had some of the ones that Jo painted, a few their mother painted, and some other items. Not all were paintings, and there may have been one or two paintings of Jo’s second sister.

So, let’s start with the Colorado paintings. The first one to show is of a violin, a cabinet behind, some sheet music and a card. The card is interesting in that it is a painting of an actual card that mother received. She had met a woman on one of her trips to the Holy Lands and the woman couldn’t remember Mother’s name. All she could remember was the name of the town. With that she looked up the zip code and mailed it to Keyes to “That Crazy Painting Lady.”

Of course, the postmaster knew who it was for since he also took painting lessons from mother. Here is that painting.


In the same theme of a violin, Mother also showed where she had gained skill in painting faces. While she couldn’t accurately render an exact likeness to a specific individual, she could do well enough to make a tracing and fill it in. Mother played the violin, and I like to think that perhaps she had herself at a young age when she did this painting.


The last one of the Colorado paintings is appropriately a mountain scene, but is one of her earlier works. While I can make out her name on the painting by zooming in on the lower right hand corner, there is no date there to tell me what year she painted it.


The next five paintings were at the Tulsa sister’s home. While I will show them here, the color isn’t the best because the weather wasn’t cooperating enough to be able to take the paintings outside to actually take the photos in natural light. I even had to do some “creative flash” work to not get these with a glare on them from the flash.

This first one was done in 1988. I can’t decide whether this is supposed to represent a Northeastern United States scene or a European scene. I guess it really doesn’t matter.


Next is another human painting. This one is roughly an 8” X 10” painting and it looks like she painted it in either 1985 or 1995. The digits are a bit fuzzy when I zoom in, but I’d guess that it looked more like 1995.


Next is a landscape in what I would call “Fall transition” colors as there are greens as well as the fall colors. It is really hard to read a date on this one. We will be back over to Tulsa in a couple of weeks and I can verify for sure, but I would guess the 80’s on this one.


This one with the house/cabin on the mountain side could almost be considered with a European theme, but it is uncertain. While the house seems to have a Spanish look, it could be a setting in either Spain, Mexico, or the Western United States. This one was definitely painted in 1988.


This last one is one that has hung on the walls of three different homes. It was painted by Mother as a gift for Jo’s mother and dad. It hung in their home over a fireplace mantle (gas fire as there aren’t enough trees in the Panhandle of Oklahoma to fuel many fireplaces.) At some time, they either wanted something else there or they moved and didn’t have room for it, but it hung in our home for a long time. Then at some time, we gave it to Jo’s Tulsa sister since she always liked it.

There is no date on this one. However, if one were to zoom in on the lower center part of the painting, one could see that the canvas had been repaired and painted over. Sometime in the moving about of the painting by Jo’s parents that canvas was ripped. It is what Mother called a “stretched canvas” as it was a canvas fabric stretched over a wooden frame.

When it was first painted, I really liked the scene and Mother then painted a small 8’ X 10” one of the same scene. I’m not sure, but I think my sister now has it. If I can get it again, this scene will again hang in our home, albeit the Mobile Suites.


Mother was born on October 23 of 1920 and passed away on March 26 of 1998. In all the years of painting for herself and family, trading other with friends for other goods like antiques, and just giving them as gifts, she never had an art show. Some tried to get her to have one, but she never did. She entered her paintings in the County Fair and won many ribbons, but when she started painting she quit exhibiting at the Fair so as not to compete with her students.

Some years ago, during the annual Keyes High School alumni get-together, she and her students had a lot of paintings exhibited in the bank there at Keyes. Other than that event, I guess my putting her paintings on my blog is the closest thing to an art show her work will get. When I get to photograph more, I’ll share them, but the next ones you will see here will be some that were done by some of her students, including Jo, her sister, and her mother.

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