Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why I Paint My Heritage

Five generations have lived in this old homestead, affectionately known as "The Golden Hill" in Herndon, Pennsylvania. Our home overlooks 40 miles of picturesque mountains. The trees up here have roots that have grown deep into the ground to withstand the wind. Over the years, many things about the house have changed, but one thing that has never changed is the foundation. It has stood the test of time. A firm Christian heritage was planted here over 100 years ago. Being an artist in such a beautiful location was a gift from God. From the time I was 12 years old, all I wanted to do was be an artist and paint. When I met my husband in Art School, I never imagined that I would be moving from the city, back home to my family homestead. That was 20 years ago. In that time I have published 13 limited edition prints for folks who are proud of their family heritage. You can view these prints at At some point I hope to create a series of prints which represent my own family heritage. But for now I enjoy doing it for many other people.

My great-grandparents started a family here. Every summer friends and family would gather for picnics and countless guests have spent the summer in this house. Back then, if you could find work on a farm, the pay was a roof over your head and three good meals a day. Great-Grandma was always cooking and baking. Every Saturday Grandma Clara had to trim the wicks on the coal oil lanterns through out the house as well as pick berries for pies and help Great-Grandma with the garden.

Grandma Clara and daughter Jenessa Wiseman

By today's standards my Grandparents would have been considered poor, but I overheard my soft spoken Grandmother correcting a person who thought my Great-Grandfather went outside in the snow in his bare feet because he was too poor to buy shoes. I saw my mild mannered Grandmother point her finger in their face, and she said, "Let me tell you something, WE WERE NOT POOR!. We had every kind of fruit and vegetable you can imagine. I gathered the eggs while they were still warm from the hen and I milked our cow for the morning's milk. We had everything we needed right here on this farm. We went to town for 3 things, coffee, sugar and flour.
But everything else was right here on this hill". Grandma went to be with her Lord who she loved so much at age 102. Grandma always praised us loudly and corrected us softly. That person must have pushed her a little too far.

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