• Carmel Reid

Art is in the Genes


As a lover of both art and history, I’ve done a great amount of genealogy over the past few years. I’ve always known the females on my mother’s side to be the artistic ones, particularly my grandma who first started her working life as a draughtswoman, but was also talented at landscapes and nature paintings. So, it was a lovely surprise to find that the artistic genes in my family can be traced back a further generation at least her Uncle was also draughtsmen in Middlesbrough. Discoveries like these make me proud that I am also an artistic person carrying on the family’s artistic traits.

Over the weekend I visited home and found some old photos of my grandma’s (unfinished) artwork from years ago. When I saw them for what felt like the first-time last week, I was surprised to notice how similar her paintings and my own seemed to be. The way the trees were painted in solid colour and the dotting of the leaves on the trees made me wonder just how inherent the type of art you make could be inherited. Since beginning to paint the landscape, I had not seen her artwork or felt as if I had been influenced by it. This made me wonder just how ‘natural’ or ‘instinctive’ it was for us to paint in the way we did, especially given that my grandma had no formal art training unlike myself due to WW2.

(Above - top three images are of my grandma's paintings and the bottom two are my own)

A part of me does think this to all be coincidental, as not everyone can produce the same kind of art as each other, but it is a nice thought to think that the types of art you create could be passed down through the generations if the artistic ability of the person is developed.


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