Thursday, July 9, 2009

Blue Dress, Red Barn - Epilogue

Now, the rest of the story. What was it about this painting?
Why was I so strongly drawn to it at first sight, went back to it a couple times during our first
visit and then again when I went back to buy the small

I had mentioned the artist had two pictures of the same subject
this one being the more abstract. As nice as the
other picture was, this one is the one that seemed to hit a
chord down deep. . I really am not a big art fan, neverdid understand the draw of the Mona Lisa, what was it then?

As promised the painting showed up Friday, upon opening the box I again felt moved, why? Why this painting?

The one that got away and what could have been? Is that it?
Could it be so simple. I search my inner self but that is not it.

My mother, is it her on the farm when she was first married
to Dad? Again I look inside, I feel around, no, maybe a
little this time but no that is not it.

What about Grandpa? Yes, hit pay dirt, where the feeling is
coming from, my connection with Grandpa and the old family
farmstead. Let me explain.

Grandpa was a young man when he moved to Northwest Iowa from
Streator Illinois and started farming in 1889. Once established he returned home for his sweetheart Rezina, they married and had two little
girls. At 25 she took ill and was gone, he married
again, Minnie bore him five more girls before illness took her
also. Lastly he married my Grandmother who gave him two
boys, Uncle Charles and my father Duane.

I am the youngest son of the youngest son and only knew my Grandfather briefly before he passed on. I have two remembrances of him, one of
him holding me in his lap showing me the inner workings of
his pocket watch, the other of him sick in bed his family
gathered around. I recall clutching my Moms skirt and
watching intently as he joked with my Aunts and Uncles.

Even though I knew him only briefly something in him passed
to me, I have always had that sense, that connection. Dad
told of how he and Grandpa re-shingled the old corn crib,
as they were doing it Grandpa told when first built his first wife had helped him shingle it.

Dad said Grandpa cried as he told the story. I can feel
the pain he felt, the sadness of losing his first love.

Grandpa is buried in Lester next to his third wife, my
Grandmother Mattie, his first two wife's lie in Rock
Rapids sharing the same monument, just their names, a verse
I can not quite make out and a statement that they are the
wife's of Charles Gage. When his daughter, Aunt Alethia who
never married died she too was buried there . Every Memorial
day Dad would make the trip over to Rock Rapids and put
flowers on their graves, a week later he would pick them up.

Last year Dad passed away, the duty, no, honor fell to me, I placed the
flowers, then tried in vain to read the weathered verse, it seemed so sad they should
be all alone, three woman Grandpa had so deeply loved.
Two I had never known gone long before I arrived on
this earth. My heart went into my throat, tears ran down my
face. I could feel his immense sadness and sense of loss..

And that is the place this painting takes me, why it
is so much more powerful in it's more abstract form,
Because it makes me feel, just like I felt at the graves
that day. Yet it offers hope, a shrouded glimpse into a good life long past.

A powerful bittersweet feeling.


  1. Mr. Roy: I really like it! At first glance the words "that's cool" popped right. Having friend as an art dealer you learn to see things in a different light. Stuff you would in your wildest dreams think you could or would understand become clear when looking at such things. I, like you, never seen myself buying art in the first place, let along something that might really be of worth to own. Got an web site of email address for this artist?

    I want to invite you to read my latest blog post which I'm sure you will find very much to your liking. In fact while I was exploring this wonder I found myself thinking, "boy I bet ol' Roy would like to see this stuff."


  2. Fasthair, goggling Fasthairblog quickly brought up your blog, read about your adventures at the threshing show with interest, That old iron is fun to look at.

    Afraid Tim Vogl the artist painted my piece does not have a web site although googling his name and south dakota will bring up some talk of him and one site has some of his work. Maybe google his name and Washington Pavillion.

    Will keep an eye on your site, Regards, Roy