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Mother’s Day: Art Appreciation and Artistic Ability Through the Generations

My mother Joan sketches many charming doodles throughout her diaries.

Joan’s doodle of her listening to the coronation on the radio under blankets

Joan’s doodle of her listening to the coronation on the radio under blankets on Wednesday, May 12th in 1937. She was 14 years old.

December 17, 1938.  Joan doodled different views of her in her costume.

December 17, 1938. Joan doodled different views of her in her costume as the Virgin Mary.  She turned 16 3 days later.

"Me, Just gorgeous of course," she writes sarcastically.

“Me, Just gorgeous of course,” she writes sarcastically on Easter Day, April 9, 1939 when she was 16.

Her granddaughter, Liz Morrison, is the child of Jim and Ruth Morrison (Jim’s my older brother).  She is a brilliant artist.  I think Joan would be the first to admit that Liz’s art far exceeds her own!

After Joan’s death in 2010, Liz created a series of gorgeous illustrations in honor of her beloved grandmother. Here are some of them.

Joan: the Ohio reference is to Bob, her eventual husband and Liz's grandfather (and my dad!)

Joan: the Ohio reference is to Bob, her eventual husband and Liz’s grandfather (and my dad!). He was born in Ohio. By Liz Morrison.

My parents loved to canoe, sharing that passion with their children.

Joan canoeing

Joan canoeing by Liz Morrison.

If you would like to see more of Liz Morrison’s art, please look here.  If you would like to purchase some of her work, check out her ETSY site here.  She is an amazing craftswoman!

This series by Liz also includes a beautiful one of Joan’s granddaughter, Sarah–my daughter!

Sarah has amazing hair.  By Liz Morrison.

Sarah has amazing hair. By Liz Morrison.

Sarah loves art too–her specialty is art history and art conservation and restoration which she is learning about now at college. So Joan’s legacy–art creation and art appreciation–lives on in her granddaughters.

Here is a passage from Joan’s diary where she is puzzling over a piece of “new” art at the Art Institute in Chicago at age 15.

Wednesday, June 22, 1938

I went to the Art Institute for the afternoon. Had a lovely half hour contemplating Chemist Lifting with Extreme Precaution the Cuticle of a Grand Piano. Modern art [Salvador Dalí]. There was a curly blonde fellow sitting next to me. We both considered the picture for a long time. Then I got up to look again to see I wasn’t crazy. I sat down. He got up. Ditto. We looked at each other. A woman came into the room, looked at the picture and started back (it has that effect). Then, thinking we were together, she started to discuss the picture with C.B. [Curly Blonde] and me. No decision, though we nodded solemnly.

"A Chemist Lifting with Extreme Precaution the Cuticle of a Grand Piano," 1936 by Salvador Dali.

“A Chemist Lifting with Extreme Precaution the Cuticle of a Grand Piano,” 1936 by Salvador Dali.

Joan ended up marrying a chemist–but he never lifted the cuticle of a grand piano!

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