A framed watercolor print by Edward Van Goethem now hangs on a wall in my office. It reminds me that Spring is scheduled to begin soon, March 20th, and I can hardly wait for the crowds to flock to the seashores and for longer days with warmer temperatures. Whenever I find a drawing or a painting that I like I usually try to find out something about that person. But, my brief search only revealed this artist was possibly from Belgium and lived from 1857 to 1924. One source for this watercolor stated that it may have been painted in Frinton-On-Sea, a small seaside town in the Trending District of Essex, England. My thoughts are that it could have been painted On-The-Seashore located about anywhere and the children are perhaps an older brother and younger sister. What a great place to stand and watch the waves at any age. Anyone ready to go barefoot and walk on the sand by the sea?
One of my favorite stories when I was eight years old was “The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore”. Did you know that Laura Lee Hope is the pseudonym for numerous writers under the Stratemeyer Syndicate including Edward Stratemeyer (1862-1930) himself, his daughter Harriet Stratemeyer Adams (1892-1982), Howard Roger Garis (1873–1962), and his wife Lilian McNamara Garis (d.1954) who wrote the Bobbsey Twins juvenile series. Laura Lee Hope was first used as a pseudonym in 1904 for the debut of the Bobbsey Twins and the author/s for the Bunny Brown series (20 vols. 1916-1931).
Written by Mary Gilmartin, February 28, 2015
Sometimes memories from the past present themselves simply from the scribbles made on a sheet of notebook paper. Today I found such a note that was so old that it had started turning yellow with age. It suddenly fell out of the pages of one of my art books called “Victorian Painters” written by Jeremy Maas, who was a dealer specializing in English painting when his book published back in 1969. Each one of these paintings still fascinate me as I flip through this book again finding Litter of Puppies by Sir Edwin Landseer who was a famous animal painter in 1838 and always painted those large white and black dogs referred to as “Landseer-dogs”. His painting Dignity and Impudence of a blood-hound called Grafton exhibited in 1839 has realistic qualities that are quite appealing not only because of the large dog, but the smaller doggie next to Grafton in the doghouse.
On the cover of this book is a painting of a girl sleeping in an orange dress. The full-page plate shown inside describes this Neo-Classical painting as done by Lord Frederic Leighton. It’s called “Flaming June” and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1895, a year before the artist’s death in 1896. There are many more great paintings to discover in this 256-page book. I’m grateful I have a copy in my home library and continue to trace the era for Victorian painting. And according to the price marked in the book, I got it for a bargain: $1.99 as-is.
Written by Mary Gilmartin, January 22, 2014
My walk down a city street in Atlanta, Georgia last week took me past a Sculpture Garden in front of the national headquarters for the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA). Did you know that their clubs have been helping kids reach their full potential for more than 150 years? This all started back in 1860 when the first club was formed in Hartford, Connecticut.
There is a commemorative plaque in this garden dedicating these children sculptures to the memory of Hays Clark, 1918-2005 who was a powerful force for positive change at Boys & Girls Clubs of America. What a wonderful tribute to such a great cause and organization!
Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, October 1,2013
I’ve had these two portraits of the same girl posing for a long time and every time I look at them I ask the same question: “Who is the girl in this portrait?”
Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, August 10, 2013