It was a chilly day in Charleston, folks! Actually, it warmed up a little after noon. But it was pretty chilly this morning. What’s that, everyone in New York isn’t watching the excellent Ang Lee film, The Ice Storm, but there’s a really awful Ice Storm pummeling most of the country? Huh, My apologies, it was lovely day in Charleston, SC! No, I’m not wintering in Charleston, Emilie, but excellent question!
Well, apparently, I still dress in various shades of black and grey even when I leave Brooklyn. I wore a blue shirt on Sunday, I swear! With a red scarf! Daring, I know.
I borrowed a very soft, merino wool sweater from Banana Republic from my Dad while he was at the gym. I think he might start locking his closet when I’m around. I appropriate his running shirts because they are soft and mostly vintage at this point. I’m also wearing a gray circle scarf from Banana Republic, a Christmas gift from my Mom, and a fake (it pains me to admit) leather jacket. It’s made by Levi’s, and I scored it at Urban Outfitter’s. My jeans are the skinny skinny jean from Madewell (shocker) in abrasion wash. They are really soft and comfortable. They should probably rename that color. I am also wearing a pair of wedges from Madewell. Madewell shoes often go on sale, look more expensive then they are, and always garner compliments, the trifecta of shoes in humble opinion.
If my college self, who only shopped at vintage stores and scoured ebay for one of a kind vintage dresses, could see me now, she’d shake her head. But I guess that’s the thing about getting older. You want your clothes to last longer than the next Bonnaroo (and not smell like someone else).
But the most important part of this picture has nothing to do with my clothes. The man on my left is T.C. Steele. A self-portrait, Steele, was an American Impressionist painter, member of The Hoosier Group, a talented collective of Indiana painters, and my Great-Great Grandfather. And I, his Great-Great granddaughter, just made him suffer through my attempt at fierce face. T.C. Steele and the American Impressionists were contemporaries with French impressionists, but they are not as well known, while no means unknown. T.C. Steele’s studio and home, The House of The Singing Winds, is State Historic Site and Museum outside of Indianapolis. However, I find their, and especially Steele’s art (no bias), to be quite remarkable, and I’m particularly fond of his stunning paintings from when he lived and studied in Germany. He once painted Dachau, which was an artist colony before the Nazi’s appropriated it for a concentration camp. It is a chilling reminder of both the best and worst of humanity’s capabilities.
T.C. Steele is most known for his Indiana landscapes. In everything he painted, however, he was a master of light. And while I can’t draw a stick figure to save my life, I’d like to think some of my artistic temperament comes from him. He was an incredibly poignant writer, as is my oldest sister Sarah, a published novelist and poet.
“It has seemed to me, that the greatest of all arts is the art of living.”- T.C. Steele