In 1949 when my grandmother Greta was 36, she and my grandfather rented a cottage for vacation. The cottage next door was rented by an artist who, at the time, was quite in when it comes to portrait painting. He is quite forgotten now and I have plain forgotten his name, I'm sorry to say. The families became quite friendly and my grandmother asked him if he could paint my Mum. Being sensible he declined- my Mum was three at the time and only an insane person would do that, I think. Instead he offered to paint my grandmother, free of charge, because he loved her colouring. The only thing he wanted was to paint a second portrait that he could sell. That never happened, but this lovely portrait of my grandmother was completed.
I have the necklace she is wearing. She had done it itself out of clay that she had painted flowers on. After her death when my Mum and I were packing her clothes we found the skirt to the dress she is wearing. It was also of her making, sewn out of yellow/white checked cotton. When the bodice got worn out she unpicked the skirt, no doubt intending to make it a separate piece, but that never happened. Since then I have had it in my possession and now I'm trying to renovate it. It's a bit worn at the waist and I don't have any fabric for a waistband, but I hope I can fix it.
My grandmother and Mum in 1956. As long as they kept the piano (my parents got it in the 1980's), the portrait hung over it.