The Purple Painting

  "Can you take a photo of one of my old paintings?"
  "Which one?" My sister asked.
  "The big one that hung the living room for know the one with the girls in the center and the flowers at the bottom."
  She gave me a puzzled look, "No, I don't know what you are talking about."
  "I have it in the car. I'll go get it and bring it in..."

  In the past few years I have moved several times and in moving I have pared down my belongings to the bare minimum...except my art supplies. I once joked that, you know you are an artist when 95% of your belongings are art supplies. And in this last move there was no room for the above described painting, so I removed the frame, cut the canvas off the stretcher bars and the painting now free, began to tell me its history which I had forgotten over the 48 years since it was created.
  First was its' frame made of simple pine strips I had cut and stained and tacked onto its edges. Next were the stretcher bars that I had made after my Dad taught me how to use the saw and miter box. Then the canvas which now I saw was not canvas at all but heavy muslin fabric my Dad used to make "canvas" pattern blocks for client fittings for fur coats.
  Finally the painting itself. Inspired by an old photo of my older sister and me standing in a field I sketched out the composition, eagerly looking forward to taking my first painting class at Mesa College. A class, I learned to my dismay required pre-requesites which I hadn't yet fulfilled but, if I could get the approval of Head of the Art Department I could take the class.
  I cannot remember which or how many of my paintings I gathered together to present to the Department Head. All I can remember is standing at his office door with my paintings. He looked, then waved his hand dismissively and said, "Go on, take the class."

  "Here is the painting." I said as I unrolled the canvas onto my sister's dining room floor.
  "Oh, I always liked this painting. I called this one The Purple Painting."

The Purple Painting/oil on canvas/ H 47 1/2"xW 38 1/2" /Mary Anita Winklea 1969
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