I have been doing so much genealogy in the past year and I have a couple of antique photos of ancestors that I really love. One of them inspired me to do this painting, Blessed. I only have a photocopy of this photo, rather than the original. But I can't tell you how much I love it! It is a photo of my great, great grandmother, Susan Eleanor (Templeton) Kephart. And in the photo she is holding my great grandfather, John Arthur Kephart. It was taken probably in late 1878, since my great grandpa was born in September of 1878. Susan would be 19 years old in this photo. I made an extra copy of the photo and decided to do a mixed media painting with it.
This painting involves lots of layers of acrylic paints, stencils, stamping and various sorts of found-object printing...and a lot of torn scrapbook paper too. I kept the colors very neutral, because I thought that gave it a more vintage feel. It took me a while to decide if this was finished...sometimes I just can't decide if I want to add more or not. I am going to add a light layer of varnish to this to seal it, and then it will be hung in my home somewhere.
I've learned so much about Susan Kephart in the last year or so. She was an amazing woman! She was profiled in Farmer's Wife magazine in 1912, as she and her husband, Alexis Elihu Kephart were prominent and successful farmers in Oklahoma. She won many awards for her farm produce, one time even winning $75 in gold for having the largest exhibit of fruits and vegetables displayed by any one person and raised on their own farm--hers numbered 200! She won that award in 1911, and I have to think that $75 in gold was a big deal back in the day. I am proud to be descended from this wonderful woman, and I only wish I could have known her.