I took some WordPress seminars the other day and learned some new tricks – I’d love to have your feedback. I’m looking forward to playing around with some of the different things I learned. If there’s something you particularly liked (or didn’t) let me know. However, that’s not what this blog is really about.
I recently brought home artwork from the Clemens & the Pen Show at Community Arts of Elmira and I was noting that I have quite a collection of works of Quarry Farm now from the last two years of events. I’m looking forward to adding to it again after this year’s event!
Let’s take a look at the paintings I’ve done so far!
Clemens & the Pen 2019
The first year of the event, I focused on some of the iconic views from this historic site where Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) and his family spent their summers in Elmira, New York. This included views from the porch and looking back at the home itself.
Clemens & the Pen 2020
The second year I showed some more of the architecture and historic elements of Quarry Farm. My goal was to tie in writings of Mark Twain to how the life of the Clemens Family was on the farm. I started by submitting three paintings for the show, but painted an additional three that were later added.
Late Summer on the Porch
“The children always helped their mother to edit my books and manuscript. She would sit on the porch of the farm and read aloud with her pencil in her hand and the children would keep an alert and suspicious eye upon her right along for the belief was well grounded in them whenever she came across a particularly satisfactory passage she would strike it out. Their suspicions were well founded. The passages which were so satisfactory to them always had an element of strength in them which sorely needed modification or expurgation. It was always sure to get it at their mother’s hand. For my own entertainment and to enjoy the protests of the children, I often abused my editor’s innocent confidence. I often interlarded remarks of a studied and felicitously atrocious character purposely to achieve the children’s brief delight, and then see the remorseless pencil do its fatal work. I often joined my sublocations to the children’s for mercy and strung the argument out and pretended to be in earnest. They were deceived and so was their mother. It was three against one and most unfair. But it was very delightful and I could not resist the temptation. Now and then we gained the victory and there was much rejoicing. Then I privately struck the passage out myself. It had served its purpose – it had furnished three of us with good entertainment and in being removed from the book by me it was only suffering the fate originally intended for it.” (Autobiography of Mark Twain Vol. I (2010); Friday, February 09, 1906)
Looking Out Towards the Barn
“In the summer of 1880 when Suzie was just 8 years of age, the family were at Quarry Farm on top of a high hill three miles from Elmira, New York where we always spent our summer in those days. Hay cutting time was approaching and Suzie and Clara were counting the hours for the time was big with a great event for them. They had been promised that they may mount the wagon and ride home from the fields on the summit of the hay mountain. This perilous privilege so dear to their age and species had never been granted them before. Their excitement had no bounds. They could talk of nothing but this epoch making adventure now.” (Autobiography of Mark Twain Vol. I (2010); Monday February 05, 1906)
Mary Ann Cord was the cook at Quarry Farm and lived in this cottage just outside the main house. In the short story “A True Story, Repeated Word for Word As I Heard It”, Samuel Clemens tells of her difficult life from being enslaved in Virginia to her journey to Elmira.
Which one is your favorite?
Is there anything specific that you’d want to see from this year’s event?
I’d love to know!