12/08/2010 by Sarah Ritchie
My family seems to have had a history of “dabbling” in art. Though I never knew my maternal grandfather (Alan Thomson), I grew up with his paintings in our home. He painted ships. I am not sure where his love for ships came from (he worked land-based jobs his whole life). The ink and coloured pencil drawing (pictured, from 1951) is a rough sketch compared to the paintings he produced…and I kick myself, now, for not taking a photo of them for posterity. He rendered them in oils and they were beautiful.
My mother (Pamela Thomson) painted when she was young (as all young ladies did in those days!). She took a couple of art classes when I was small, but – other than that – did not pursue the interest. The two paintings pictured here are watercolours completed when my mother was 12 or 13 years old (1938).
Then there was me…the 3rd generation dabbler. Perhaps it was because I was an only child that my mother kept every single childhood painting/drawing that I made (and even quite a few of the teenage ones too). They are all tucked away in a box. For years – every time we have shifted house – I urged Simon to throw them away, and he has steadfastly refused to (for which I am now glad). Keeping things for posterity is a great concept – I am beginning to appreciate it more, now that I am older. This particular Junior-Picasso was titled (written on the said artwork) “Butterflies and Bee”, and produced when I was a tender 4 years, 10 months old!