Archive for the ‘Watercolor image’ Category

“Church Yard” Watercolor — Deliciously Creepy!

October 18, 2009

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September 22, 2010 update: Instead of including a space in the name of this painting Church Yard (two words), with help from the dictionary, it is now referred to as Churchyard (one word).

"Church Yard" displayed with Mr. Black's Secret by Cathrine Barr. (Click photo to enlarge.)

"Church Yard" displayed with Mr. Black's Secret by Cathrine Barr. (~20" W x ~14" H) Click photo to enlarge.

Last summer I spoke to a group about Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) watercolors. From Mother’s portfolio, I pulled out several that I ooohed and ahhhhed over. Then I pulled out this one of the cemetery. (Actually on the back of it Mother wrote, “Church Yard.” There is no indication of the exact location.)  I told the group that I love how Mother created an eerie feeling with her technique, colors and subject matter. Then I said, “But, WHO would EVER want to display this painting in his or her home?!”

"Church Yard" as it was cropped and matted by Mother (Marion Gunderson). (Click photo to enlarge.)

"Church Yard" (1954) as it was cropped and matted by Mother (Marion Gunderson). Click photo to enlarge.

That’s still how I felt until about two weeks ago when I was decorating for Halloween. Hmmm…the wheels in my brain were rolling.  What could I use to decorate that doesn’t look cheesy, has colors that I love, looks good in my home, and creates a deliciously creepy yet fun ambience?

My brain clicked and sent me directly to Mother’s portfolio.  The next morning I went to Wild Faces Gallery in Rolfe where Mona just happened to have this standard-sized 18″ x 24″ black frame and also the not-typical-orange mat (in the top photo) in stock.  That same morning, Mona had the matted and framed Church Yard ready to go.

My next stop was about a twentieth-of-a-block from the gallery at Ropa’s Cafe in Rolfe.  I was so excited about Church Yard that I took it inside Ropa’s to show to family.  To my surprise and excitement, a non-family member in the cafe took a look at it and immediately said, “I WANT a print of THAT PAINTING.”  Whoop-dee-doo!  Since it is an initial investment to have prints made (due to being labor-intensive and requiring specialized skill, equipment and materials) hopefully I’ll get another pre-order or two to tip the scale to actually have prints made of Church Yard.

I cannot think of a more deliciously creepy piece of art.  I love it, I love it, I love it.  I’ll display it until the day after Thanksgiving when I’ll transition to Christmas decorating, including Mother’s Santa watercolor original.

By the way, Cathrine Barr dedicated Mr. Black’s Secret (the children’s book in the top photo) to Mother.  How perfect that the cloth cover is almost the same orange as the mat.  (Do you notice the little mouse bookmark sticking out the top of Mr. Black’s Secret?!)

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(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.  Slowly but surely there will be more about Bill’s and my Oregon trip and also about Mr. Spaulding.  I need to talk with Mr. Spaulding about  additional topics before another transcript is developed.)

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Blue Hat and Iowa Corn (Part III)

July 12, 2009

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(To read “Part I” click here.)

(To read “Part II” click here.)

~ Submitted by Clara Gunderson Hoover

Iowa Corn watercolor by Mother (Marion Gunderson), 19--.

"Iowa Corn" watercolor by Mother (Marion Gunderson), 1956. (Click photo to enlarge.)

When I saw Bill and Judy Carmichael’s Ear of Iowa Corn, it seemed very similar to a painting Mother had given Sara (Olerich) and Dale Schoenefeld as a wedding present.  Mother painted that painting, Iowa Corn, in 1956.  Sara and Dale’s Iowa Corn was not in the small photo album Mother had created of most of her paintings, nor did I remember this painting until Sara mentioned it to me and, in 2006, sent me photographs of it. more…

Blue Hat and Iowa Corn (Part II)

July 10, 2009

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(If you haven’t yet read “Part I” and would like to do so before reading this post, click here.)

~ Submitted by Clara Gunderson Hoover

Ear of Iowa Corn, watercolor by Marion Gunderson, 1949

"Ear of Iowa Corn" watercolor by Mother (Marion Gunderson), 1949. Sizes/Pricing: Medium limited edition --- 11.75" W x 10" H, $25. Grand limited edition --- 22" W x 18.75" H, $50. Largest --- 24" x 20.5" (same size as the original, usually a special order), $70. (Click photo to enlarge.) *

In July 2008, Hal and I were back at Okoboji for our annual reading marathon.  I didn’t want to impose on the Carmichaels, but one day while on my walk I finally went to their house and knocked on their door.  They invited me inside and showed me Mother’s painting, Ear of Iowa Corn (1949).  They also showed me two paintings by Cathrine Barr.  I was excited to see all three paintings and asked if I could get my camera and come back to take photos.  They seemed glad to let me do this. more…

Blue Hat and Iowa Corn (Part I)

July 8, 2009

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Almost dusk after RAGBRAI bicyclers had passed through Rolfe, Iowa, on July 23, 2007.  (Click photo to enlarge.)

The view from Highway 15, looking east into Rolfe, Iowa, at almost dusk after RAGBRAI cyclists had passed through on July 23, 2007. (Click photo to enlarge.)

~ Submitted by Clara Gunderson Hoover

When RAGBRAI went through Rolfe on July 23, 2007, most of our family spent the day in town and enjoyed the many bicyclers and onlookers who talked with our father and visited his Cy sculpture on Garfield Street.  In fact, my husband Hal and I had just concluded our Okoboji vacation in time to be in Rolfe for RAGBRAI. more…

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 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.