Thursday, March 19, 2009

The summer of 1959 my parents and brother and I took what will always be remembered as the "trip of a lifetime". Well, for back then it was. We spent four weeks traveling from Greenville, Pennsylvania to the western states in a station wagon with a tent and a cooler.
It was the summer between second and third grade and I remember it almost like it was yesterday. We thought we would drive all the way to California but we fell in love with Wyoming and decided to extend our stay to take in Frontier Days in Cheyenne and then return to Jackson and the Tetons. The Spur Ranch and Chuck Wagon ( still in operation ) is located in Moose within stone skipping distance of the Snake river and that's were we stayed and I met my first "real " artist. His name was Frank von Fuer. He wore a swede leather jacket with fringe and a hat with a rattle snake band. Originally he was from Austria but lived then in Pittsburg, PA and was the chief staff artist at the Carneige Museum. He did the above portrait of me just on a piece of pebble board with gouache. I remember him telling my mother it would be a better likeness of me when I was a few years older. I know I was always "making" things as a kid but I don't think I ever said that I wanted to be an artist until after that summer. It wasn't an epiphany but rather an idea planted in my subconcious. I may have become an artist any way but I like to think meeting him had something to do with it. This small souvenir is one of my most valued possessions.


  1. Hi Janet!. What beautiful paintings.You look gorgeous! I believe these are the kind of trips you remember all your life, especially when you are a little girl and everything is new and fascinating. We also take our children on a bike tour every summer holiday and they are always grateful to do something different from the rest.
    Sometimes some of the most amazing people we meet are by chance, and then, you never know the impact a complete stranger can have on your life. I call it serendipity. The right person at the right moment and you met yours.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Thank you Anna for those beautiful comments. "Impact" ,yes ! Think of the posiblities if we were all a little nicer to each other!
    I tried to post a comment on your blog but had trouble. I really, really love the newest painting you posted. It is so wonderfully loose and spontanious. I bought two bigger brushes yesterday to help me loosen things up a bit !

  3. Thank you for your kind comments Janet. I'm pretty sure your new brushes will help you to loose up and forget about tiny little strokes. Think big!