A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

22 April 2012

Day 22: Portrait


Welcome to Day 22 of Ziva's "30 Days of Photographs II" non-contest.Today's theme was "Portrait".  Since I already did a "Tissue and Pills" portrait the other day for "White" -- I felt redoing it and making the unhappy face a little happier just wasn't going to cut it.

I had a great idea of taking a photo of a photo of the King of Belgium which was given to my grandfather by the King himself (apparently they knew each other) but my daughter made the determination that a portrait is more of a close up facial thing...and good old Albert or Leopold or whoever it was sitting at his desk from 20 paces away wasn't going to constitute portraiture.  I still debated this in my head back and forth as I thought it would be kinda nifty.

The only other option I really had was a charcoal pencil drawing of my grandmother whom I was always told I resembled (but I didn't want to do the split face thing again)...so that's the one I went with. But first off, please check with these fine people to visit their even finer blogs...with handsome photographs you will undoubtedly automatically be smitten with...then check mine out after the list:



 
Day 22 --  Portrait:


This is a portrait of my grandmother, Albertina Maria Van Marsenille, drawn by either a brother or an uncle named Emile Van Marsenille.  As the drawing was done in 1909, I am not certain if she was still a maiden lady or now a Mrs. Van Haute.  As my mother was born in 1918 (the exact day the Romanovs were all executed), and she had older and younger siblings...I'm not sure where exactly 1909 falls in that timeline.  I would believe my grandmother would be in her very early 20s at the very most in that portrait.

I then spent the next couple hours rummaging thru many old photos and paperwork written in Flemish to try to determine various other information.  It was, to me, fascinating.  I've tried going on those geneology sites before - but all leads to Belgium never seem to pan out to anything.  Yes, if you had American relatives, no problem; ones from Belgium and Czechoslovakia...good luck.  If you know how to delve into those records...please, if you wouldn't mind, clue me in...I've never had anything of value pop up.  I am sure I could possibly contact my relatives in Belgium...but I'm not sure if any of my mother's siblings are even still alive.  Unfortunately, death has a way of rendering you permanently silent.  It would be great to get more information firsthand...maybe one day.

Anyway, I enjoyed my time-travelling very much thanks to Ziva's little non-contest here.  :)

17 comments:

  1. It's so important to keep track of your family tree. I'm pretty up to speed on my mom's side of the family. But my Dad died with us knowing very little about him, even his siblings and parents. I really wish I had that information. You're lucky you have what you do. Nice portrait.

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  2. Ugh - I cannot get the spacing right again. This is getting unnerving.

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  3. That's a beautiful sketch and I'd guess she's much younger than 20. Have you ever noticed how much more mature past relatives looked than we did at their age? It's something that's always fascinated me.

    My sister had quite a run going on ancestry.com. Great records from the Swedes, Scots, and Welsh, but the trail went cold when she hit France. The upshot is that we all appear to be descendants of at least a few illegal aliens.

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    1. Trying to think when she died. I believe she was 94 when she died...probably late 1970s - let's just say she was probably 20 in it. I believe she did go off to university before getting married - so it's not like she was married off when she was 13.

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  4. I LOVE OLD PHOTOS AND HISTORY! What an incredible thing for you to have! You are VERY lucky to have such a piece of history from your family. She is absolutely lovely.

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  5. That is a lovely portrait to have! I have a huge family tree because my mother is the family historian - plus our family has lived in the same area forever. She does use ancestry.com sometimes when she gets new info to work with. My hubby knows little to nothing about his family - so the kids will be lopsided in their knowledge.

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    1. That's what it is like here. Nothing from the other side of the family - we know nothing of them really. They never talk about their lives.

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  6. That is a marvelous portrait of your grandmother and judging from your previous photo of yourself, you do look like her. Interesting hairstyle there too.

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    1. You think so? I'll have to go get a photo out now.

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  7. This is such a great portrait, Mariann, and I really hope you'll be able to track your ancestors in Belgium.. :)

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  8. Agree it is hard to pinpoint her age, but it's a wonderful picture.

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  9. Your mother almost looks like she could be seventeen. She was very beautiful and I can see where you got a bit of that 'comedic' quirk in your face. Very nice portrait, Mariann!

    ;-)

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  10. Weird - aol is only showing four posts when I beam this up altho it says I have 10 comments. I know someone mentioned they had issues with their blogs not showing the comments, too. I wonder if they were looking from aol.

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  11. Awesome Mariann! I also posted a portrait of my gramma! Nicely done!

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    1. So, that's who that was - I was trying to comment earlier but it wasn't letting me. :)

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  12. She's beautiful! Thanks for sharing your grandmother with us.

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  13. Hello,

    We just found your blog and it appears that your painting is drawn by my grandfather. Maybe you would like to get in contact: emanuel.vanmarsenille@skynet.be We live in Antwerp, Belgium.
    Hope to hear from you soon!

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