Saturday, April 23, 2016


A 'Sunday Painter' is defined as someone who paints as a hobby, is non-professional, and usually unschooled.
My step-great-grandmother was considered a Sunday Painter in her time during the early 20th century.  My family always considered her a crazy artist with the temperament to match.  Evidently in my family of hard-working pioneers, artistic endeavors were not considered a proper use of time.  I only met her a few times when we would travel from Colorado to California where she lived in retirement.  I never understood their assessment of her personality as I just found her fascinating!
When she died, I guess I was the only one that wanted her paintings.  I was about 12 years old at the time.

This is the only still-life oil painting that I inherited.  All the others are landscapes.
 She painted on whatever surface she could find.  Below appears to be a school slate.  Sunday Painters often learned painting skills by copying other artist's works because there were not other opportunities available at the time.  I think this was one she must have copied.  It looks a lot like Lake Louise in Canada, and I know she never traveled there.  Copying other artist's works to learn is a debatable practice still today.  However, while touring the Louvre in Paris seven years ago, we observed an artist set up to study and paint a famous painting.
This is an oil painting she did that is reminiscent of her native state of Maine.
I also have several charcoal landscape drawings of hers that incorporate sheep.  Those are very familiar scenes to me and must represent her time living in Colorado with my family's sheep business.  I've been unsuccessful in photographing them because of the glare of the old, wavy glass.
I'm so glad I had the foresight to claim her work.  We've enjoyed them in our home for years.

What do you think about copying other artist's works to learn techniques?

I'm joining the following:
Backyard Neighbor for Blue Monday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday


LV said...

What treasures you have.

Jeanne said...

Oh my, you were a very mature 12 year old because saving these beautiful pieces of art are the treasures of a loved one. Your grandmother sounds like an awesome person and she sure had a wonderful talent for art. People have painted /copied famous artwork for ever. It is a learning tool and I find it to be a compliment to the original artist's work.

Happy Blue Monday and thank you for joining in the fun. I love each work of art you shared. I have some pieces of china from my grandmother and I love having reminders of her very much.


Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

These are just beautiful!! She had an amazing talent!

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Hi Sally! So cheery that you came by! Such a nice compliment you left. I can see that you are doing something really useful in organizing your pictures. Life has to really stop in order to do that. Lots of luck to add to your hard work! It will be a wonderful thing for your family. i love sunday paintings! Fantastic that you have some wonderful samples from your grandmother! Good for her! And good for you! I didn;t know that copying paintings was controversial. I thot it was an accepted method. It's just another way to observe I think. Carry on. Don't go cross-eyed!

Jann Olson said...

Sally, I love her art! Especially that first one of the roses. I have such a thing for sheep right now that I am sure I would love her sheep as well. So glad that you have them to leave you with fond memories when ever you see them! I am not artist, but I have looked at others work and (tried) to copy in watercoloring. I would like to take a class some time. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

Art and Sand said...

How wonderful that you have your grandmother's work to cherish.

My husband is a professional artist. He went back to art school after a successful career in business. Many times in his art classes his assignment was to paint in the style of a famous artist. Someone actually purchased one of those studies. And he had to laugh when just last year, one of our daughter's friends completed a similar assignment by painting in Steve's style.

Thanks for sharing with SYC.