"We all shine on....like the moon and the stars and the sun..we all shine on, Everyone" John Lennon
We are celebrating artists this week in Sepia Saturday, and our prompt picture shows both photographic artists and those who work with paint, pastels and canvas. My own picture shows my late father, who was the real artist of our family. He had a talent for drawing from an early age, and illustrated his wartime journal with small line drawings and cartoons. Both he and my mother, who was equally talented at drawing, would sketch small pictures for me as a child, so that I could apply my own colours. Dad was a founder member of his local Art Society, where he became both Chairman and President and was made an honorary life member in recognition for his work. When Dad died last November, one of my painful duties was to write to the webmaster and ask him to remove Dad's work from their online gallery.
In the picture above, I don't think the peacock was the focus of his attention, but a fellow artist clearly thought it made an interesting image, and I'm glad they did. Peacocks are symbolic in art history and are often found in early Christian paintings and mosaics where they represent both immortality and renewal. Their feathers can be used to decorate churches during Easter. Through his paintings and pictures, and now through my blog, Dad is living on and our memory of him is greatly strengthened. As a Christian himself he would have been interested and delighted by the analogy.
"There is no death daughter. People only die when we forget them,' my mother explained shortly before she left me. 'If you can remember me, I will be with you always." Isabel Allende, Eva Luna.
Here he is again sketching on a family holiday in Northumberland some twenty five years ago. My daughter is sitting next to him, learning and gaining advice. At this age, my son was more concerned with running up the slope.
Dad also liked to take photographs, and as regular followers will know, he was always looking for unusual angles, poses and lighting. He may have been an amateur, but without his unique interpretations some of my Sepia Saturday posts would have been far less interesting.
In this shot he snapped the photographers from behind as we climbed onto an old tree trunk, the better to capture the breathtaking views. It was 1963 and I was on holiday with my parents in the Lake District. The daughter of family friends came along too. She looks as if she's looking down into the viewfinder whilst I try and steady myself and take my camera from the case. The view was of Lake Thirlmere.
This time I was the one who caught him on camera. The occasion was our Silver Wedding celebrations in 2000, and Dad had spotted a statue he wanted to record on film.
In 1988 my children took their cameras on a walk in the local country park near my parents' house. Dad snapped them both framing their shots of Alexandria Lodge in Bestwood Park, Nottinghamshire.
I wish I had the companion photograph to the one on the right but so far I have been unable to unearth it.
This one must have been taken a moment or two later and Dad's camera has been tucked away, but the image is frozen in time and Dad's smile shines on reminding us of a happy occasion; time spent with his grandchildren in a place he loved.
The artistic genes also live on. Here is my daughter that same year, and possibly during that same visit to her grandparents' house, as I recognise the decor.
And here is my son in 1994, fascinated by minibeasts and committing the images to movie film.
For more images saved for posterity go to Sepia Saturday and see what artistry other contributors have come up with using the prompt below.
Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."