Long ago my son-in-law got a new line. ( He like his father-in-law was a furniture representative ) This was an Italian Leather, very modern, line of upholstered living room furniture. While visiting in their home-town, I discovered a slew of discontinued leather samples in their basement, and asked if I could have a couple. I wanted to see if I could use them in my business. One of my most favorite works of art happened in my trying to use this leather.
Since I was limited in the color selection, I decided to use black and white photographs as spring-boards for my appliques. I had a photo of my sister (born in 1916) as a four year old holding hands with my father's oldest sibling and one of her daughters, my cousin I discovered when I thought about it. Another cousin who was considered 'slow' is also in the photo. I had painted this group in black and white. A huge painting. It was bought by a prominent family on Bainbridge Island. When I did this in leather it was immediately adopted by one of our children. The three grownups in the photo all wore ankle length overcoats which made a stark strong impression. They were surrounded by snow and deep shadows, done in grays and blues. I quickly tried another and that too was absorbed by one of our children.
And while looking through these old black and white photos, I found one of the four Svensson children from about 1925, lined up behind our well. We were between the well and the fence which enclosed our property. from left to right it is me, my sister, my little brother holding a truck and my older brother holding a wooden gun. We are standing on the cobblestones which surrounded the well. The fence was painted barn red in reality. But what is the thing hanging on the fence? Behind me?
It is the mattress from my bed. I was a bed-wetter until I was a grown teenager. My mother always told me I did it on purpose. Nothing can be more embarrassing for a child than being a bed-wetter. I, every morning had to get up early to rinse my sheets and on clear days I had to hang them outside. It was such an open secret, Not so much when we lived by the beach, for no-one walked by, but after father died and mother had to buy a dry-good store in the middle of the village and the whole family moved there, then it was for the world to see. People did not seem to have much knowledge of psychology in those days, but I was happy to hear when I came to America that it was really my mother's fault that I had that problem. Nothing like that has ever happened since I left home and even now at nearly 90 I am not incontinent. ( What a thing to talk about !!!!)