Darwin and I live with many collections. Basically we LOVE things. But one of my pride and joys is a grouping of oil paintings of women. This collection started with a trip back to Pennsylvania for a outdoors market called Renninger’s. One morning I am making my way down an aisle at this antiques market and I spy a painting of a woman. As I draw a bead on this painting I see another one, then another one. My pulse starts to race. This grouping of paintings are fabulous. I had been thinking for quite awhile about collecting portraits of women. So here in one fell swoop, I have my start.
Only problem is the owner is not there. Off having breakfast and the person tending the booth has no idea of the price. So I wait. And wait and start to sweat. Finally I go to find Darwin and our friend Mary to get their opinions on the paintings. Mary, who is an amazing artist in her own right gave me her seal of approval immediately. So we all wait some more. And I continue to sweat nervously.
Finally, the dealer arrives with a donut in hand in one hand and bad coffee in the other. Of course during this waiting period, I am just sure that the prices of each of the paintings will be $$$$. So when he tells me that he would only sell the 5 paintings together my heart sinks.
Then the price is quoted. I can hardly get the cash out of my wallet quick enough. That’s how I started the collection of “my ladies”. Over the years I have added to this collection. A painting found in Sacramento, California, one bought at the Summer Expo sale and of course one purchased at Stars Antiques Malls
My ladies have been hanging in the stairwell leading upstairs to the bedrooms for awhile. I have noticed Darwin eyeing that stretch of wall for sometime but it is MINE. More importantly, it’s my ladies’ home.
The original group of women were painted by a woman artist in the 1930′s. She was based in Washington D.C. The subsequent additions to this collection are from unknown artists. I am more interested in the subject then the creator.
As with any good portrait painting each of my ladies has her own personality. You may have noticed that several of the original group of paintings are unfinished. I love that about this collection.
One of my favorites is this lady in the hat. She looks so much like Bea Arthur from Maude and Golden Girls that she instantly had to be “Maude”. Over the years I have come to know each lady as I pass by morning and evening. They start my day and end it perfectly.