Yesterday I wrote about how very pleased I was to be able to buy a painting by Vera Burnside, a longtime and leading member of the congregations of Hazzard’s and St. Andrew’s United Churches, and hang it at the Manse. But that painting wasn’t the only one to go up on the Manse’s walls this past weekend.
The painting above has (as you can probably tell) the Manse itself as its subject. It was painted in the mid-1960s, not long after my family moved to Queensborough, by Norah Hiscock, a talented artist who lived nearby. My father had commissioned it from her, for kind of a funny reason. Near Queensborough – at Actinolite, in fact, another hamlet that is now part of the Greater Tweed Area – was an art school (and more on that in another post). The people who came to study at that school were very fond of taking working (that is, painting) excursions to Queensborough, because they found it pretty and full of interesting houses and buildings that made good subject material. But none of them ever painted a picture of the Manse! So Dad asked Norah Hiscock if she would, and this nice painting in warm colours was the result. She took a few artistic liberties with the details: the fence in the front yard ran in front of the big maple tree, not behind it; and the maple is not really in the right position, probably the better to show the house. But we always liked the painting, and it hung proudly at the Manse until we moved, and then in every subsequent house in which my family lived.
In very recent years, however, it has been languishing in a closet in the house at the family farm near Gelert, in Haliburton County, where my mum and dad lived until Dad’s death in 2004. This past weekend, when the whole family was at the farm for our annual Thanksgiving gathering, it was agreed to return the painting to the Manse. And here it is, now hanging in the living room, in exactly the same spot where it did all those years ago:
Back where it belongs.