Oct 10, 2012

Growing up in West Virginia


People sometimes ask me about my childhood. 
Envision a romantic cobblestone path leading to a sweet, 
charming ivy covered cottage next to a brook....

sound wonderful?

Maybe so, but my home was much different than one might imagine... 
It was a place filled with imagination, intellectual pursuits, creativity
and interesting things to see and do.
...not exactly sweet and charming.

My father was an architect and designed our home.
Built in mid-century modern architectural style, it was designed utilizing natural stone, slate, wood and glass.  My father purposely designed our home with a lodge like look and feel.  As the family grew, he wanted a nice place for family and friends to come together.

Becky reading in the living room

Outdoors and indoors meet through large expanses of glass, creating rooms with high ceilings and views of beautiful woodland surroundings.  Eames chairs and electric blue Bertoia chairs mixed creatively with antiques.  It was, and is, an interesting mix of furniture.  Somehow it worked well.

A home filled with beauty and style.  

Even more, my favorite memories are of around the kitchen table, talking and laughing with friends and family.  Delightful smells of home cooked meals and freshly baked breads filled our home.  My mother made sure people always felt welcome with her generous Southern Hospitality.   I've longed to have a home overflowing with friends and family, but am not quite as extroverted as my mother. 

Christmas Card Photos of siblings  Nancy, Becky and Chuck Wilson

Christmas Photo Becky Chuck and Nancy (The Night Before Christmas)

At the Kitchen table.
Note the woodland trees outside the windows.
Becky's father's art studio is in the distance, to the far right.

 Becky, in Pj's
Our family was well known in the area as the family that cared for stray animals.  
People dropped off stray dogs, cats and kittens, rabbits and guinea pigs, 
knowing they would be well cared for until a good home was found.

Many lost or orphaned woodland animals and birds, some with broken wings from hitting the glass windows found their way to our home.  We nursed them back to health and found homes, or let the wild animals go, carefully, using gloves to not leave a human scent on the little ones.
This was the beginning of my life long fascination with animals.
I dreamed of having a home filled with animals- like a zoo.   
But, life has a way of taking care of those dreams...
no Elephant poo in the living room for me.  
Instead, I like to draw and paint animals.  
Animals are much easier to care for in art and book form.


Cathy said...

Thank you for sharing a bit of your childhood. It's always interesting to learn the backgrounds of artists. Were you encouraged to draw? Did you inherit our talent from your father?

Debora said...

Thank you for sharing your childhood with us, Becky! Fascinating! How fun to see the influences on your art from your early years.

becky kelly studio said...

Hi Cathy, Thanks, My father was an excellent watercolorist and taught me to paint from a very young age. Both my mother and father were supportive, that really helped me.

Amalia K said...

Such a lovely story, Becky. Thank you for sharing a bit about your sweet childhood. :)

becky kelly studio said...

Thanks Amalia, beautiful artwork!

becky kelly studio said...

Thanks Amalia, beautiful artwork!