Tag Archives: 1960s

Huddled in the light 3/12

Title and year unknown. Courtesy of Clarke University

My aunt clearly, returned to themes of good vs. evil, light against dark. To the left I see at least three  faceless figures (with dark hair), and maybe more with lighter hair, huddled together, basking in the light, in protection of white and yellow light. To the right, ceding the canvas’ territory to the light figures, is a red figure.

He is evil. He is the Devil. His large eye is fixed on his target, his claw-like hand reaching in to grab. Or,is it recoiling back- unable to penetrate God’s protection? I think the latter.

These are just initial impressions. More on this painting later. Nine more to post!

Blue City 2/12

Actual title and image unknown. Courtesty of Clarke University, Iowa

This is my second favorite, and it’s a very close second.My aunt traveled and studied in Europe and I suspect that is the inspiration, if not model for this image.

I see a river in the center, with the city’s buildings facing closely on each side. Their structure is reflected in the water. Obviously very impressionistic in nature, I will return to this post later and comment more.  I invite you to share your comments too! Please read my intro about these discoveries!

As with all 12 discoveries, actual date, medium, and title are yet unknown to me.

Twelve new paintings at Clarke University are discovered!!

Due to the over the top kindness of Dr. Sara McAlpin, BVM, I am now in possession of an additional dozen photographs of paintings done by my aunt. Sr. Sara, words cannot convey my gratitude for you time in locating these paintings that were hidden or stored at Clarke University, for arranging to have them transported to a well-lit room, put on an easel and photographed so well.

I am going to post each into its very own blog post. They came to me untitled and undated. I do not think any of these 12 are images that are listed under the Missing Work page. Those titles were reproduced from a 1957 Gallery exposition, and from that era, my aunt’s work seems to be more realistic, albeit impressionistic in nature. You see a house, a tree, etc. There is little argument what she was painting in her earlier work (what I have seen of it anyway!) These new additions appear to have been created in the early-mid 60s, painted before she left Iowa for California. They are more abstract, turbulent, and fluid. I see her experimenting with technique, investigating the forces of light and dark, good and evil. She plays with forms. I suspect she would have made a great engineer or architect. My aunt, in my opinion, greatly appreciated the elements of design, particularly of buildings. That is what I see anyway. How about you?

As with the old images I have posted, as these emerge, I invite you to comment on them, and share your opinion. I’d appreciate that very much- and later, when the time comes to formalize all this in an academic exercise, I might seek your permission to reprint your ideas in my thesis.

Since none of these are named, and the pictures came to me in digital format with numbers, I used free-association to name each. I might change my mind on the image’s working title, but for now, I will label them with my first impression. They are easier to keep track of that way!

As I have only these photos, I do not know what medium they were painted with and on what surface.

Enjoy!  And Sara, again, you have given me, and my family a wonderful gift. Thank you so much!

Stay tuned!

Bridges
Blue City
Huddled in the Light
Ethereal Forest
Unfinished Dream
Blue Triumph
Forgiveness
Night Time in the City
Red Jazz
Blue Fracture
Intersection
Broken Ice

In a lot of these paintings I see a repeated form- sort of a rounded X- something like a bridge support, or something like the Under Armour logo.

I’ve hit the jackpot with Craiglist!

Always follow your hunches!  When I found out my aunt had produced all this artwork 50 years ago, I had no idea how I might begin tracking it all down. On a lark, I posted an add in the Dubuqe Iowa category of Craiglist and I got a hit! A good one!

After a few emails back and forth a very nice lady (who shall remain nameless until I get her permission) told me her dad had a painting by a nun, acquired around 1966. She confirmed it was large and very modern. A few days later, I got an email saying, “It’s by her!”

I mean, what are the chances of that?!?! I feel my aunt is guiding me in this quest. This is a blessing beyond words.

I’ll post an image as soon as she sends one to me, and if they give me permission to post it. It is after all, their painting, not mine.  But I am so excited to actually connect with a real human being- someone who has a part of my aunt with them.  How cool is this? I am just thrilled beyond words! Stay tuned!