A Designer’s Perspective


(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

Grain Elevator, Rolfe, Iowa, by Marion Gunderson, circa 1950. Standard size limited edition -- 13.25" W x 17.25" H, $35. When matted, fits in standard size 20" x 24" frame.* (Click photo to enlarge.)

Kathleen Beeler is an interior designer friend who several months ago saw a few of Mother’s original watercolors. Kathleen plans to incorporate fresh-looking artwork in her home and wanted to take a look at prints of Mother’s watercolors…mainly the agriculture-related ones.

Yesterday I took prints to Kathleen’s home for her to try in various rooms. (I felt like the Fuller Brush man.) Kathleen was/is so pleased with her finds. Knowing that Kathleen has a design background that I trust, I got goosebumps thinking how pleased Mother would have been listening to Kathleen ooh and aah about Mother’s work. “They fit my house, my lifestyle and my husband’s background.”

What really made me “see” Mother smile was something Kathleen said about the ag-related prints/originals, for example of the Rolfe, Iowa, grain elevator that was destroyed in a 1969 fire. Or the Iowa State University heating plant** (that Mother painted a watercolor of in 1951) that no longer exists. Kathleen kept commenting about how even though the watercolors were painted decades ago, they haven’t faded out of style. She said, “They aren’t stylized. They are sophisticated. They are contemporary portrayals of something in America we’re losing.”


* * * * * * * *

* Click here for size/price information about prints. All profits from sales of prints go to the Rolfe (Iowa) Public Library.

** Within the next few months, prints of the Iowa State University heating plant watercolor will be available.

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


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3 Responses to “A Designer’s Perspective”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Nice! Thanks for relaying her comments.

  2. Peg Says:

    What a credit to the timelessness of Mother’s art!

    That Kathleen (someone who knows what she’s looking at and what she’s talking about) wants to “incorporate fresh-looking artwork in her home” and found it in Mother’s watercolors–how exciting and affirming!

    And (she says) “. . . even though the watercolors were painted decades ago, they haven’t faded out of style. They aren’t stylized. They are sophisticated. They are contemporary portrayals of something in America we’re losing.”

    Thank you so much, Louise, for making it so I could “hear” her say this!

    And how wonderful that you were a “medium” through which she and Mother’s paintings could connect.

    When I think of Mother and design, I always remember that grouping of objects (mustard-colored plate, tall green plant in the pestal, etc.) Mother entered in . . . the county fair? Seems like design was present in just about everything she did. And I’m sure we kids absorbed it partly just by living amongst it. Lucky us!

    Btw, loved the Fuller Brush man line. 🙂

  3. Marti Says:

    Ditto to all Peg said!

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