The portrayal of children in art can be and often is quite idealized. The first artwork pictured here is such a work. When I first saw it from a distance, I thought it to be fairly impressionistic in style and naive. But then I picked it up and realized that what I took for dashes of paintwork was actually needlework.
It is truly a very fine piece of work. It is 5 1/4 inches square set in a simple frame. When I look at this piece it makes me think of and author named Kate Greenaway, whose artwork for her books was in a similar style. There is actually some watercolour work in this piece also. If one looks closely, one realizes that the distant hills and sky are done with watercolour as well as some shading behind the shrubs and grass. The young ladies legs, arms and face are also done with watercolour. A combining of art-forms to achieve what is a very pleasing result.
My second artwork today is a recently acquired watercolour. Since starting to collect artworks and enquiring into their history, I find that every once and a while I purchase something that says ‘I’ve seen this before’. This is one of those pieces.
This watercolour is not signed or dated so finding information is well nigh impossible but that has not stopped the feeling that somewhere, at sometime I have seen this image or one very like it before. There is no naivety in regards to the portrayal of these children. They are poor. They do not have an adult to supervise them so they amuse themselves. They take care of themselves. They have no toys and they are simply and plainly dressed. In truth a very accurate rendering of what their life must have been like – simple with few luxuries. An uncomplicated painting exhibiting an image of life in its’ bareness and simplest.