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My daughter and grandson go with me to the place where I studied art as a girl. Though the Master passed away at age ninety-six, his longtime companion still lives in the cottage and opens the gallery on request.
I recall the now enclosed area as a plein-air studio—red tiles shaded by a flat roof. The room smells musty, yet the paintings are vibrant—his subjects varied as did his life. He traveled, then painted from simple sketches: narrow streets of Spain, a treacherous trail in Sardinia, and my favorite series, the Fjords of Norway in deep blues and greens.
In an almost life-sized portrait, a young woman swings in the curve of an thick oak branch. I hesitate, then ask the woman, now in her seventies, "Is this you?" She tells us she sat on a stool and he added the tree limb from imagination. About the nude on the beach, I don't ask.
my grandson admires
the resident cat