Archive for June, 2009

The Farmers Coop and a String Bikini — Part I

June 30, 2009

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~ Submitted by Marti (Martha Gunderson) Carlson

My very pleasant baptism into the working world started the summer of 1966 following high school graduation when I reported to the Farmers Cooperative* Company in Rolfe, Iowa – in a dress and heels! more…

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A Makeover for Santa

June 27, 2009

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When I show prints of Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) Santa, right off the bat I explain that Santa isn’t one of Mother’s best works.  As a matter of fact, the original had been passed by and left in a portfolio in a closet at Gunderland until Christmas Day of 2003.  Santa needed a makeover.

Christmas Day, 2003 -- Katie and Santa.  Mother had just returned to the Rolfe Care Center after having Christmas dinner at the farm.

Christmas Day, 2003 -- Katie (our younger daughter) and Santa. Mother had just returned to the Rolfe Care Center after having Christmas dinner at the farm. Click photo to enlarge.

Mother moved to Rolfe’s (Iowa) nursing home the fall of 2003.  In December that year she was still well enough to spend a few hours with family at Gunderland (the farm) on Christmas Day.

After she returned to the Rolfe Care Center that day, several of us family members perused Mother’s portfolios.  I fell in love with Santa.  Within days, Mother granted me permission to have Santa in my home.

In November of 2004 I had Santa matted and framed.  Later that month, I took Santa to the Rolfe Care Center so Mother could visualize the mats and moulding I had chosen for Santa. more…

Watercolor and Fire in Rolfe, Iowa

June 25, 2009

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Rolfe grain elevator watercolor by Marion Gunderson, circa 1950.  Click photo to enlarge.

Rolfe, Iowa, "Grain Elevator" watercolor by Marion Gunderson, circa 1950. Limited edition prints size 13.25" W x 17.25" H are $35. Click photo to enlarge.

Mother (Marion Gunderson) painted this Rolfe, Iowa, Grain Elevator watercolor in approximately 1950. As the article below describes, this grain elevator burned on November 12, 1969. I was in eighth grade that fall. The only recollection I have of the elevator and/or it burning was that my father (Deane Gunderson) took me into town that night. Staying in the car, we watched the blaze from a distance, probably near/at the golf course.

As can be expected, viewing the colors of this watercolor image online, the colors and detail look different in contrast to the actual print and original painting.

Rolfe elevator fire article 1200 W

Click photo to enlarge (and then, if your computer allows, click again to enlarge even more). Posted with permission from the Pocahontas Record-Democrat.

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I obtained this article copy by looking through microfilm at the Pocahontas (Iowa) Public Library. (It’s easy as pie to view the microfilm, entertaining, and free.) I did not include the article’s photos because on the microfilm they are almost 100% blackened.

If anyone has a photo of this grain elevator before, during or after the fire, I would appreciate seeing it (and posting if permission would be granted).

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The Updike Grain Company.  Click photo to enlarge.  From the collection of the Rolfe Pro Cooperative.

The Updike Grain Company. Click photo to enlarge. From the collection of the Rolfe Pro Cooperative.

The article includes history regarding previous Rolfe grain elevators. One mentioned in particular is the Updike Grain Company, shown in this black and white photo.  The Updike Grain Company was destroyed by fire on November 29, 1914.  Before it was destroyed, it was located on the site where the future Charlton Grain Company elevator (in Mother’s watercolor) was built.  Also shown in this photo is the J. & W. C. Shull Lumber and Coal.

The last paragraph of the article mentions C. L. Gunderson (Charles Lewis), my great-grandfather.

For information about prints availability, please click here.

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Gilmore City, Iowa — Rich Watercolor, Rich Heritage

June 24, 2009

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"Railway Station and Grain Elevator" at Gilmore City, Iowa, painted in 1951. 17.25" W x 13.25" H limited edition prints are available, $35. For those who wish to display the watercolors of the Rolfe, Gilmore City, and Pocahontas I grain elevators in a grouping, we have chosen this standard size for all three. Also, if matted, a standard sized frame may be used instead of a custom frame.

"Railway Station and Grain Elevator" at Gilmore City, Iowa, painted in 1951. 17.25" W x 13.25" H limited edition prints are available, $35. For those who wish to display the watercolors of the Rolfe, Gilmore City, and Pocahontas I grain elevators in a grouping, we have chosen this standard size for all three. Also, if matted, a standard sized frame may be used instead of a custom frame. Click photo to enlarge.

On my monitor, this digital image is not nearly as rich-colored and vivid as the actual painting/print.  I love that Mother (Marion Gunderson) included three landmarks in this Gilmore City, Iowa, watercolor.

Gilmore City, Iowa, June 22, 2009.  Click photo to enlarge.

Gilmore City, Iowa, June 22, 2009. Click photo to enlarge.

Last night I took photos from approximately the same vantage point I believe Mother had for this Gilmore City painting.  I’m including a day-old photo to compare with Mother’s 1951 watercolor of Gilmore City.

According to the Pocahontas County, Iowa, History compiled in 1981, “Misfortune struck in the spring of 1947 when a fire of undetermined origin destroyed the main wooden elevator in Gilmore City.  That fall the Board voted to replace the destroyed structure with a new cement elevator.  This was to be the first elevator made entirely out of cement in this part of the country.  The Board of Directors and the managers spent many long hours of study on the plans of this new 125,000 bushel capacity elevator.  The cost of this new facility was approximately 60 cents per bushel capacity or $75,000.”* more…

The Little Engine that Could — (No Watty Piper?)

June 22, 2009
Joe reading to Jackson before dinner.  In 1980 this copy was given to Jackson's mother (my older daughter) by my parents.  My parents gave a different copy to me in 1960.

Joe reading to Jackson before dinner. In 1980 this copy was given to Jackson's mother (my older daughter) by my parents. My parents gave a different copy to me in 1960.

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Today I was with my dad near Rolfe, Iowa, for several hours.  Later, both of our daughters, son-in-law, and three-year-old grandson came to Bill’s and my home.  We relaxed (or combined “corn flower” if you talk with farmer Jackson!) and had dinner.  Jackson was so excited to be at “Nanna’s and Grandpa Bill’s” and to see Aunt Katie and Uncle Joe.  When I was working on dinner I noticed it had gotten quieter. more…

The Art of Pumpkins, Watercolor…and Beer Making

June 19, 2009

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A watercolor of Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) I have long admired is that of — Pumpkins.  Mother painted it in 1971.  It now belongs to my four-years-older sister.  Peggy lives in Michigan and was traveling to Iowa last fall.  I went out on a limb asking her if she might consider bringing her Pumpkins painting to Iowa so I could have it taken out of the frame, scanned, profiled, and a print made for me.

Pumpkins prints are readily available in two sizes.  Medium LImited Edition prints are 6" x 16.25", $25.  The smallest Pumpkins prints are 4.5" x 12.25", $15.

"Pumpkins" (painted in 1971) prints are readily available in two sizes. Click photo to enlarge. Medium-sized limited edition prints are 6" x 16.25", $25. The smallest Pumpkins prints are 4.5" x 12.25", $15. (For prints and/or more information, contact me at mariongundersonart@gmail.com, or Mona at Wild Faces Gallery.)

Peggy was immediately up for it.  She brought the painting to Iowa without me knowing where I was going to get all of this done.  I only knew I was going to ask Mona at Wild Faces Gallery if she would reassemble the painting, frame, etc., after I’d had a print made … somewhere.  Until I asked her the “reassemble” question, I had no idea that Mona’s husband, Mike, makes giclee prints from original art in the Wild Faces Giclee side of their business.

When I made this discovery via talking with Mona, both Peggy and I were at the gallery.  Peggy then gave Mike permission to make prints of Peggy’s Pumpkins painting.  Mike did all of the scanning/profiling/printing work.  I got to decide the quantity and sizes of prints I wanted within my budget.  Mona then shrink-wrapped the prints. more…

Pocahontas, Iowa: One Subject Equals Two Paintings

June 16, 2009

Pocahontas Grain Elevator I Limited Edition prints are available in the original painting size of 13.25" W x 17.25" H, $35.  Click on photo to enlarge.

"Pocahontas Grain Elevator I" Limited Edition prints are available in the original painting size of 13.25" W x 17.25" H, $35. Click on photo to enlarge.

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In 1949, my mother (Marion Gunderson) painted two versions of the Pocahontas, Iowa, grain elevator.  For the longest time, my family thought there was only one version.  In her photo album, Mother had a snapshot of her watercolor I now call Pocahontas Grain Elevator I (Pocahontas I for short).  It is one of the watercolors Joe and Norine Reigelsberger returned last September.  (For an explanation, see  “If It Weren’t for Ruth Simonson and Reigelsbergers…“as well as another post.)

Decades ago, my mother gave to my husband, Bill Shimon, a different, but almost identical painting of the Pocahontas grain elevator.  I call Bill’s version/painting Pocahontas Grain Elevator II (Pocahontas II for short).

As mentioned, until last September, I thought Mother’s snapshot was of the painting she gave to Bill.  How excited I was to learn from Reigelsbergers that they had the “snapshot” painting of the Pocahontas grain elevator.  Both paintings are now displayed in Bill’s and my home.

Because the two Pocahontas paintings are somewhat similar, I am pointing out two main differences between the paintings. Click here to see photo of second painting.

The Little Lady Wearing a Hat and the Red Satin Dress

June 13, 2009

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(If you haven’t previously done so, reading the post If It Weren’t for Ruth Simonson and Reigelsbergers . . . will help familiarize you with Ruth Simonson before reading this post.  Reading the posts in the category “Barr Art Association” could be helpful, as well.)

Ruth (Severson) and LeRoy Simonson on their wedding day, June 20, 1959.  (Click on photo to enlarge.  Posting permmission granted by Ruth Simonson.)

Ruth (Severson) and LeRoy Simonson on their wedding day, June 20, 1959. Ruth met the "red satin dress" lady two months later. (Click photo to enlarge.)

Ruth Simonson, from Northwood, Iowa, moved to Rolfe, Iowa, in 1959 when she married LeRoy Simonson, a Rolfe native.  In August of 1959, yet a newlywed, Ruth went with LeRoy and Roy (her father-in-law) to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, with one of the “to-dos” for their trip being to look for a kitchen set.

While at the fairgrounds, Ruth, LeRoy and Roy sat at a table in a tent to eat a meal.  A little lady (appearing to be in perhaps her 60s or 70s)  sitting next to them asked where they were from.  When Ruth said they were from Rolfe, the lady asked, “Do you know Marion Gunderson?”  Ruth said that, no, she did not know Marion Gunderson, to which the woman retorted, more…

John Deere: Like Great-Grandfather, Like Great-Grandson

June 10, 2009

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From 1940 until 1945 my father (Deane Gunderson, now 90 years young) was an engineer for John Deere in Waterloo, Iowa.  Because he had a perforated eardrum, he was not able to serve in the military.  In his 1981 (or 1980) oral history, he said that, while at John Deere, “I did various jobs, experimental farm testing, drafting, I was project engineer for a year.  One of the most interesting phases of it was more…

Do you know/remember anything about Cathrine Barr and/or the Barr Art Association?

June 8, 2009

If so, please comment below by clicking on “comments.”  Or, please email me at mariongundersonart@gmail.com, especially if you have photos to share of anyone/anything related to Barr Art.  For now, this post will stay at the top of this page.  There are current posts further down this page.