Yesterday I posted about our trip to Chadderton, a suburb of Oldham, near Manchester, this is the area of Lancashire, in Northern England where my dad hails from. Sadly dad died 15 years ago now, and he is still very much missed.
Anyhow I digress , we were travelling to Chadderton to say goodbye to Aunty Kath who died aged 101 a few weeks ago. She was, I thought ,our last remaining connection to dad and his upbringing, she was in fact dad's cousin, and had worked as a beamer in Kent Mill (a cotton mill ) all her working life.
She had married but had no children. This was her wedding in the snow ( it looks like) after the war .
The service was lovely and afterwards we got chatting to a lovely man and his wife who turned out to be another of my dad's cousins. As one door closes another door opens, they say.
We chatted over a pub lunch and were so delighted to find another ongoing connection to dad and his family . He told us many tales and we shared what we knew, so we could fill in some of each other's gaps. I did discover ( amazingly to my mind) , that I am related to a chap called William Billingsley, my Grandma's maiden name was Billingsley, William Billingsley
He was a fine painter of roses on porcelain, he even has a Wikipedia page
His pieces are very rare and highly prized
And so I was thrilled to discover this connection with my past, felt like I was on an episode of 'Who do you think you are?'
So as I sip my tea, and write this blog, looking at the words "I would always rather be happy than dignified" , written by the amazing Charlotte Bronte,
I can smile and think of dad, my family, my job and how lucky I am, and how I paint roses too , just like William many many years ago
I had some roses so I arranged them in an a vase, I decided to paint one.
I sketched out a single rose,
Then began to add colour starting with the very back petals.
I wet the whole shape of the petal, then carefully dropped my delicate colours in.
The edges of the petals are green, with touches of pink, then I add a shadow colour with a mixture of cadmium red and cobalt blue.
I then start to paint the spiky leaves at the bottom of the rose.
Then I add the stem,
I thought I would experiment a bit with the background colour too, so the rose would stand out, magenta, purple and rose pink all added then I splash on some water to create watermarks and patterns.
Leave it to dry and I have a permanent reminder of a lovely flower, and a connection to my ancestor William Billingsley
And a reminder of how lucky I am, I hope I can pass some of my good wishes on to all of you