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157. Art & Never judge a book by it’s cover


This painting is one commissioned several years ago by my cousin Leif who lives in Sweden.  The naive art scene is of his brother Dan & Johnny’s former house here in Australia and depicts us all enjoying a day together by the pool.  As I told you in my previous art blog 156. ART & FREQUENT FLYER POINTS (there is the link if you wanna recap) we are now on our European tour and have arrived in Gothenburg where we got picked up by my gentle giant cousin Leif, his partner Lena and daughter Emma.

naive painting people at a pool party having fun by artist Marie Jonsson-Harrison

Naive fun in the Pool!

My cousin Leif decided early on that he wanted to work with disabled children and there he met the lovely Lena, the love of his life and they set up house together.  They both have hearts of gold and worked tirelessly to give their all to make life better for the kids in that institution where they both worked.

Eventually they decided to start a family of their own and as fate would have it when Lena finally gave birth it was to a little girl Emma, cute as a button, but severely handicapped herself with both Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (which is water on the brain)and several other problems too and requiring a wheelchair.

Girl in a wheelchair having fun by the pool

Don't judge a book by it's cover!

At first glance you may feel compassion and perhaps pity for this very special family unit, and yes of course that was also our first reaction.  However never judge a book by it’s cover, wait instead till you have had a good read.


You can see Emma on my artwork on the right by the pool, with my husband and I close by.  Artistic licence of course as no aeroplane will allow her to fly, so going from Sweden to Australia has so far been out of question for her, but Lena and Leif have made the trip each with another travel partner so that the other one is home with Emma.

Emma communicates manly through noises which only her parents could properly decipher and really we did at first think that was wishful thinking on their behalf.  Well what fools we turned out to be because after spending time with them we saw Emma really does understand and can make herself understood in most instances, not only that but she understands English too!

Lena, Leif and Emma live in a gorgeous house on the outskirts of Gothenburg, just perfect for the 3 of them but as a lot of European houses no spare bedrooms so perhaps a bit harder to have people come and stay.  However they insisted that we take over their bedroom whilst they slept on trundle beds in with Emma, such lovely hosts and they spoilt us rotten.


So my other observation was what a HAPPY little family they were, their little household sparkled with joy and happiness and their lives revolved around each other – not in a martyr or sacrifice type of way but in a way that showed such joy and happiness you couldn’t help but feel good in their company.  Emma had an infectious laugh and they all giggled around the clock, she did of course get upset at times particularly if it was time to get out of the car as being a passenger was her favorite pastime, but even then upset, she was gorgeous and that mood soon passed.

In a way I envied them – now don’t get me wrong I am eternally grateful that my two children were born healthy and I wish and pray that they will always be so.  No what I mean is when Kai and Hillivi were little I wished that they would never grow up and leave us, just be our little darlings forever.

naive and outsider art of pool party including bird frame by artist marie jonsson-harrison

Fun in the Sun!

That is what Leif and Lena have got – they have their little girl still cute as a button even though now she is 37 years old,  sharing their lives together the three of them.   What more can you wish for in life then to be loved and to truly love in return!

So here is a quote I think fits well here by an unknown author;

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn”

Till next time, happy painting and sculpting to you.

Love Marie xxx

Why not come and have a look at Marie Jonsson-Harrison’s PAINTINGS FOR SALEGICLEE PRINTS FOR SALE and SCULPTURES for sale or WALLBASED SCULPTURES.  Enjoy an original artwork on your walls or perhaps one on your bed ARTnBED.

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