Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Children of Air

Jennie Belle Holly and Ella Mae Holly.  Watercolor on Yupo, from antique photos found at a consignment shop

One of my pleasures is browsing through old photographs in shops.  I love the serious poses, the clothing of these unknown people.  It's sad seeing these pictures sold as curiosities.  Surely these girls were daughters, sisters, wives, mothers.  Why aren't they cherished in someone's family album?  Jennie Belle and Ella Mae, photographed by a St. Louis photographer, were identified.  I think they were from the 1860s, based on some other pictures in the stack. Long since grown up and gone away, they are "children of air".

To Any Reader
by Robert Louis Stevenson

As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far away,
In another garden, play.
But do not think  you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call
That child to hear you.  His intent
Is all on his play-business bent.
He does not hear; he will not look.
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.


Teri C said...

These are so wonderul! No wonder you look for those kind of old photos. I should try this.

Nancy said...

These are wonderful paintings. You did a great job with the yupo and the paintings have that "old" feel. I also love the poem and sentiment that you have shown. I am really into history and "children of the air" seems so fitting. I'm going to copy this poem down, if you don't mind.

Thank you for your post! I hope you don't stop posting to the Superblog, that's where I go to find all these wonderful things.


Sharon said...

Very fun to see your Yupo work, Sherry. It's a bizarre medium. These are great, but I have to say, the kids just don't look happy.

Sharon said...

Actually, after looking at these longer...I'm amazed! Yupo is HARD to work on!

laura said...

Wow! These are really amazing--I love the colors and your drawing and composition are great; not to mention--what a great idea!