In 1992* my great granddad died, leaving behind him a lifetime of paintings. Some went to his daughter, his granddaughter, his grandson and finally, some seem to have filtered through the generations into my grubby hands.
I’ve always loved his work – particularly his pen and ink drawings and anything with boats in – and could never really understand why Mum never hung more of it. It’s only now that I have my own house and an abundance of these revered family masterpieces that I realise too much of a good thing can turn it into the mundane.
So I’m doing something rather irreparably bold – I am splitting up my little collection and offering the paintings to friends. I still think of the pictures as precious, but I would rather they be hung and enjoyed than hidden away in my drawer, out of the way. Part of me is sad, but I know that had I painted such lovely things, I’d rather they been seen.
*Or thereabouts – anything that happened pre-Animals-of-Farthing-Wood is a little hazy at best.