A few weekends ago, husband and I drove down to the community where I grew up. My cousin decided to hold an art "show" featuring her mom's work from years gone by. My Aunt Gwen was my mother's only sister. She enjoyed painting and produced quite a lot of work when she was younger. She died about a year ago, and so in honour of her, my cousin created a display of her work at a local fall fair (where Aunt Gwen grew up). My siblings and some other cousins gathered there, so this was a nice chance to catch up (as one of my cousins mentioned, it seems like it's only funerals or maybe weddings where we see each other, so this was a welcome change!).
I truly don't have a judgement whether my Auntie Gwen was a fabulous artist or not. I'm certainly no artist, and probably one of the least artistic of all of my siblings. But I do know that her paintings were a constant in my childhood. "Over at the farm", many of her paintings hung in the big craftsman style farmhouse. My parents, of course, had some of her paintings as well, and so they hung in our living room or in the kitchen. I'm now lucky enough to have two of them to keep in my home. I loved their frames, and just the feeling they invoked - homey and contented. Some of the paintings at the art show, I had never seen before because they hung in her home in Saskatchewan where she moved with her husband after living on the farm in Ontario.
These aren't all of the paintings that were there, but it gives you an example of her style.
Aunt Gwen was a very selfless, giving person. She sewed all of my grandmother's dresses to her specifications (sleeveless and polyester prints), she mailed us big cardboard boxes of clothes and special little treats - all the way from Saskatchewan - which was pretty exciting when my sister and I were kids, and she and her husband, my Uncle Al, and their two children would make the long trek across provinces to come back 'home' for a few weeks in the summer to stay at the farm house and do "spring cleaning" and various other tasks, as well as have some visits with friends and family in Ontario.
It was lovely to look at her work and remember the special person she was.
At the same time, we wandered around enjoying a typical fall fair atmosphere. Here are some pictures of the 4-H calf shows and some horses that were taken through their hunter / jumper paces.
To top it off, we enjoyed some extra greasy, salty, ketchupy fries in the open air and then had a lovely visit with friends who live in the area that we don't see nearly enough.