Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Certain Sanguine Elegance: My Mother, The Painter, 1949 Studies

My mother, Phyllis Holland, in 1949, ready for art class, farm cat in tow.

The following gallery features seven watercolors painted by my mother, Phyllis Holland, in 1949, when she was sixteen years old, some two years before she attended Kingston School of Art, in Southern England. Mainly monochromatic in their original form, chiefly studies in dark blues and browns, they show a focused interest in the fold and form of clothing, as well as the composition of the crowd, the exotic settings offering great interpretive possibility, a narrative quality I have responded to by attempting a cross-generational collaboration, composing sixteen-word descriptive sentences for each, in honor of such early creative ability, a youthful talent that inspires me to this day. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

She was alone amongst the spinsters, their countenances owl-like with anticipation, awaiting the village gong.

We must forgive the indelicate motions, her suggestive pose, thought Mrs. Hallow, turning to look away.

A certain sanguine elegance claimed the abandoned runway, a long knitting needle piercing Esmeralda’s pale stomach.

His heart dying with the sun, he felt the longing in his majesty’s weary, forlorn gaze.

The second agent narrowed her dark eyes, a nasty smile pushing at her rich, robust lips.

The forceful gale offered the Campbell sisters time to abandon the lingering mockery of the veil.

The youngest daughter faced the mother, wearing her father’s porcelain absurdity – her tongue dry, twisted rope.