In the old sketchbooks there are four drawings of reclining women on the phone. They all resemble women from Vargas’s calendars. This one is influenced by Orientalism and is the best of the four.
This drawing is from one of my father’s sketch books. You’ll see that the woman in his heart thought bubble is not my mother (see entry for 7th February). Perhaps she’s the woman who was posing in the art class. Perhaps she’s the generic woman that every soldier thinks about in the desert, standing next to a cactus, holding a very big gun.
There’s no real sun in my city today. Just clouds. So I searched through my father’s poetry book; here’s the beginning of a poem about the merciless sun that Australians often live under. The poem is attributed to M.A.N., 1941; the illustration is by Ron Bruce.
This is my mother, drawn by my father. Years ago, I took it out of his sketch book and had it framed, and now it sits beside my desk. I often focus on the round buttons and the round brooch on her dress.
The sketchbook dates from about 1942/43. This portrait is a very close likeness, as once observed by a visitor who saw the drawing and then a photo of Mum at about the same age.
For a couple of years I’ve had a small copy of this painting on my wall. It reminds me of one of the photo challenges for January: Launch. On this last day of January, I want to show it to you. It’s a blogging analogy. On 1st January I started this blog, lifting off in colourful company. Some float with me, some observe from solid ground.
The hot air balloon launched at the Chateau de la Muette was the first untethered manned flight. It was invented by the Montgolfier brothers; thus, in French, it’s called a montgolfière. The painting above is part of the National Library collection here in Canberra.
Like this week’s photo challenge, the following poem and its miniature illustration also have a peaceful theme. My father was in the Middle East in 1941 thinking about the sun rising in his home country. I give you the first of four stanzas.
Another photo from my father’s war album.
There’s also his postcard-sized painting on the same theme: