Friday, October 31, 2008

Frances Lee Ila

Oil on Canvas by Vera Holcombe, 1916
14 x 12 inches

I just love this portrait! And the story behind it is revealing.

As it goes, the artist is the older sister of the model. I have written about her paintings here and here. In this case, Frances Lee Ila aka *Peggy* refused to remove her red coat, even though the weather was warm.

The word *headstrong* comes to mind.

*Peggy* was my godmother, my maternal grandfather's office manager/nurse, shopping buddy/friend to my grandmother *Dee*, and second mother to my own mother. Her influence in our lives contributed to the naming of DD#4.

Frances Lee Ila (Holcombe) was the third daughter and her father had proposed the name *Peggy* for the first two, yet was *overrruled*. When *Peggy* was born, he again proposed the name. Again he was overruled. Finally, he retorted.

You can name her whatever you like, but I'm going to call her *Peggy*

I did not learn her real name until after she died.

Is there a special story behind a painting or photograph in your home?


  1. I love the painting and the story behind it!

    I have a painting done by my uncle for an art class assignment on perspective. He saw it hanging on my wall last Christmas and told me that after he painted it he discarded it as not worthy of keeping, but my grandmother fished it out of the trash and entered it into some contest where it won first prize. Somehow I ended up with it when I was about 12, and have had it hanging on a wall ever since.

  2. I think it must be difficult for artists like that, as DD#2 (my artist) is not as fond of hanging her pictures as I am.

    Post of photo of your uncle's.

    I'd love to see it.

  3. That's an interesting naming story.

    I have a great-grandmother whose name was Selena Frances but everyone called her Rhoda. I've never learned the story behind that. And isn't it interesting how tastes change over the generations? I much prefer the name Selena to Rhoda.

  4. I love the red coat. I'm glad she was headstrong and kept it on. :)

    Good for father to call his daughter Peggy.

  5. I never new that story! (nor did I know Peggy's whole name) Thanks for posting it! :-)