Saturday

Another discovery from my mum's journey back through our old family photos. We don't remember who took this set, but it was a rare, candid group of photos of our family life at this point in time. This was our second Woodstock house, the one that my father designed and built from the ground up. It was originally intended to be a studio space just up the hill from our first house, but in the end my parents sold the first house and we moved into this one. I wish I had photos of the outside, because it was an exquisite design, reminiscent of one of my father's sculptures, complete with swooping, graceful "butterfly wing" roofs. I can't really convey how impressed I still am that my father, such an amazing artist, also had the capability and vision to design and construct a house that any architect would be proud of.
This is a view through the livingroom to my father's studio (it was all on an open plan) with my piano in between. I was quite a decent pianist at the time, though not nearly on a par with some other family members. This was the '70s and you can see my father's work of the time, very abstract, in the background. He was always a very prolific artist.

Oh, and the saddle was not just for decoration. We always had horses, and my mother was an extremely accomplished horsewoman. My dad and I were dilettantes, but we enjoyed it.

(Sorry...are those salmon-colored corduroys I'm wearing?? Well, it was the '70s, but still...)
The fireplace, surrounded by many of the skulls found on our ranch, and the river stones that my mother collected on her travels.
The kitchen. We had a contemporary oven and stove, but my parents were always very attached to their woodstoves for heating, and this one was a beauty.
I had forgotten about the birds. My mother is now a painter of birds around the world, and it's interesting that we apparently always had these birds "perched" high above our heads as we lived our lives below.

Oh...and the rope swing! That was a stoke of genius on my father's part. He hung it in the exact center of the open-plan lower level of the house, suspended from the highest rafter under the butterfly roof. I could swing from the kitchen all the way through the livingroom and into my father's studio on the far side of the house. Genius! How many people's parents would let them ride a rope swing past the dining room table?? What a lucky child I was.
My ever-stylish mother and father. My mother looks rather tenuous in this picture, but I can guarantee you that it's because a camera was trained on her at close range. My mother, in spite of her beauty, was always (and still is) painfully ill-at-ease in front of the lens. I'll never understand why.
The livingroom. I stand in awe of the amazing artifacts that my parents collected from our travels around the world. The guitar, btw, was also not just for decoration. My father was a world-class acoustic guitar player who jammed regularly with Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, and who also (oh just on the side) played a mean flamenco.
Yes, I could once play decently well. How sad that I let that knowledge lapse. Maybe someday I'll make an effort to learn it again.

15 comments:

liza said...

Gorgeous. What a rich upbringing you had... I am now officially in awe!

Shaista (Lupus in Flight) said...

Awe-some!! Every inch of this post, but most particularly that fascinating picture of our beautiful Maia in plaits, concentrating at the piano... no wonder QQ is such a muse if you were swinging on a rope in your own home as a little girl :)

Does your Mom read your blog? What does she think? Tell us more about your parents!

Jeanne-ming said...

I ditto Shaista and Liza.

Di said...

What a beautiful series of photos and what a talented family and an exciting sounding childhood!

Yoli said...

How could you not be an artist? This is the most fertile ground I have seen in a long time. Exquisite. That last photograph of you painting the piano takes my breath away.

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Shaista - my mom reads the other blog, I think - but she doesn't follow this one as much. She likes to see the photos of Q, but she's a person of action first and foremost, and doesn't have a great deal of time for the internet ;)

Yoli, thanks. I don't get a lot of joy from that picture since it was not a terribly happy period of my life, but I do wish I could still play the piano like that!

Horseartist said...

That fireplace seems familiar, but I'm not sure I remember the rest of that house. I do always remember a saddle in the LR of your house later on though and many of the things in these photos. You were lucky in many ways.

Angie Muresan said...

Your parents fascinate me, Maia. Please write more of them and your childhood. To grow up in such a home and family...
And nothing wrong with your salmon colored pants.

pien said...

love those pics
all looks so well, and warm

Guusje said...

Oh Maia, what a lovely place, I'm speechless. Beautiful!!!!!!!

Merisi said...

I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed your wanderings back to your parents' home. What a treasure trove, both what your parents created and the memories you cherished. Thank you for sharing these, I appreciate it immensely, very inspiring!

alliot said...

Such an exquisite place with lots of stories!
Is this still here?
It is a treasure. It should be kept exacted what it looked and turned into a museum like the studio museum "Achille Castiglioni".
http://www.achillecastiglioni.it/en/studio.html

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Simrat, I don't remember that house either. I'm really not sure why. The pictures took me by surprise. A beautiful place!

Alliot, it does still exist, though I don't know who owns it or what the inside looks like these days. Certainly all the artifacts went with us when we left. Thanks for the link, I LOVE that studio space that has been made a museum. What a gorgeous space.

K said...

Wow, what an amazing place to grow up. Thanks for sharing.

And your daughter could not be more beautiful

Kate Neckel said...

what an inspiring and magical place to grow up in...