Monday, October 28, 2013

The Story Behind: The French Teacher

"The French Teacher" by Joan Thomas McCrossen.

Before my husband's Great-Aunt Joan passed, she went blind.  Before that, she was a brilliant painter. And sometime in between, she wrote detailed stories of all of her paintings, typed out, signed, and attached to her work. 

Of "The French Teacher" above, Joan wrote:
This painting was completed in the early 1950's. It was inspired by Sr. St. Eleanor S.S.J. who taught French at Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls. She was a study of constant motion who moved across the front of the classroom, gesturing freely to elicit proper pronunciation from her struggling students. Sr. St. Eleanor was a very small woman who was also slim, neat and tidy so she seemed, to me, very, very French.
Naturally, because of her vocation, she would have been unable to draw attention to herself by posing for a portrait or so I thought. Truthfully, she was never actually invited to do so.
Years later, I needed a model to translate the memory of her into paint. My own mother was the only individual patient enough to pose in an awkward position long enough for me to render three dimensions into two. I am grateful to both teachers for their personal contributions to art.
- Joan Thomas McCrossen, 2006 
Every object in your home has a story and if it isn't something historical or tangible, it is something that means a great weight or value to you and yours. I love that Joan wrote about her work to pass on to generations what each piece meant to her. Very inspiring.

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