Tuesday, 24 January 2012

four generations

setting up the shot
mother & daughter
four generations 2010

One of my earliest memories of my ma: visiting her in the glassed-in room where she liked to retreat, hide out from her flock of six small daughters, and paint. She showed me the little picture of trees that had caught her eye, and how she was reproducing it in large. I don't remember whether she was painting on canvas, canvas board, or some other material; the scent of oil paint and linseed oil however, indelibly registered.

This was the biggest house we ever lived in, a rambling old house rented from the nuns, on the then-edge of Winnipeg. I remember small things, like tiger lilies. My sister Marni remembers bigger things, like a black pony she befriended, in a field nearby. 

Lorraine Arnott painting, Vancouver, 1970 or so

Marni inherited Ma's love for and ease with making visual representations of the world. Besides paintings of all sizes and many kinds, she has spilled into and explored virtually every medium, much to the delight of friends and family. Our homes are linked with the small sculptures, carvings, painted slate, sketches and paintings she has gifted us over the years.

Marni Arnott Petkau painted this card, Alberta 1994

The top photo, setting up the shot, shows Marni patiently posing, her daughter Tine's hand indicating to her husband where to focus the camera, and Ma impishly fooling around. Then the portrait as intended, memento of an extended visit, the first big Christmas celebration shared in many years. The final portrait was taken at Tine Butler photography studio, Portage la Prairie, the year before. Flanking Ma and Marni are, on the left, Tine, and on the right, Tine's daughter Miranda.

Tine is Marni's eldest daughter, and inheritor of that artistic eye and urge-- and a poet, too. You can visit her on facebook, check out her albums on modelmayhem, and visit her website here.

Thanks to Marni for sharing the photos.
Artwork scanned from originals, copyright remains with the artist-creators.


Anonymous said...

I love that you are collecting stories of the people I love, too. They are so beautiful, these stories, the pictures, and the people I love, including you, Joanne.
x Carole

Joanne Arnott said...