Mrs. Kerssemakers (c. 1890, age 4?)
Oils on canvas
14 x 11"
My first girlfriend's grandmother.
My girl's name was Margaret Mary Kerssemakers. Her father was from Holland, where his mother married a man whose last name was Kerssemakers. Mr. William Kerssemakers had a little old B & W framed photo of his mother on the mantel. Would tell me the history of his grandfather, who he claimed was a close friend of Van Gogh. He would sit with this young 16 year suitor (myself) of his daughter with notes in a big book of Van Gogh's works. I do remember being wide-eyed to see the name Kerssemakers in a book about a great artist. This was my introduction to the work of Van Gogh.
But I mostly noticed a resemblences in the photo to my Margie, even though she was by then 15 or 16.
Although the last time I saw Margie (1968--she granted me a sad date while on leave after my first tour in Vietnam--we had broken up in 1966) before my marriage to Linda in 1969, her father and I had kept in touch all those years. In 1985 he loaned me the B & W photo and I made this painting of his mother, which he promply purchased.