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48. Art in a Surprise Package


You know sometimes you meet people and you just love them right away and wonder why you just haven’t been friends forever such inspirational people both for paintings and art blogs and life in general.

That has just happened to me-I have just met a couple of new friends,  I guess the only unusual thing is that these two new friends are quite a bit older than me- so if you ever think age is a barrier to friendship you may have to think again.  In the future this painting or any others I do of the older generation will have to depict them doing much more interesting things than knitting!

I will tell you about Helen first, she was introduced as the mad cousin of a photographer friend of mine.  Helen told me she likes a chardonnay or two and that she doesn’t do mornings and then proceeded to have me in stitches telling me not to be surprised if she dances on the bonnet (hood) of the car by the end of the night, as that has been known to happen!

outsider artist Marie Jonsson-Harrisons colorful painting of an old couple sitting by a cosy fire

Cosy by the fire in naive style!


Not unusual you say- well maybe just a touch if you are 81 years old!  My husband Bryan was sitting next to Helen and opposite me for dinner, and the whole time he was crying with laughter and had tears rolling down his face as this gorgeous and vivacious woman told her tales and entertained us all night long.

Making us laugh about birth, death and everything in between.  One such story was this one:

Helen had promised to take her rather new 95 year old friend out for her birthday.  The lady in question was in a nursing home and did not get out much.  Helen had been very busy with this and that and had not got around to cleaning out her car, however just before she was due to pick her friend up she had the guilts about that and got the vacuum cleaner and car polish out and made the car shine.


She had set the table like a 95 year old would appreciate with nice crockery and doilies and flowers and the like, and then set off to the nursing home to pick her up.

When she got there her friend was sitting in her room in the wheelchair all dressed in her fineries with a hat on her head looking like she was asleep, and the nurse told Helen to just wake her up and get going.  However that was easier said than done as the lady in question was really quite dead,  stiff in fact.  However that did not seem to register with the nurse who started to call in her walkey talkey  and asking for the oxygen to be brought in, as Helen tells it- that might have helped an hour ago but it wasn’t going to make any difference now. LOL

Helen stayed around and called the next of kin (although she did not know them or the lady that had died terribly well) However she did the right thing and helped with what she could.  Anyway a few days later this woman’s two daughters appeared on the doorstep of Helen’s house and Thanked her ever so much for everything and said that they had some things of her mother’s that they would like Helen to keep as a thank you.


Helen told them there was really no need as she did not want for anything and she thought the girls should keep all the possessions for themselves.  But they insisted and said they could not think of anyone else who were more deserving of this small inheritance. Helen did not know how she could contain her laughter when they finally revealed their gifts to her; they were a Mega pack of Steradent ( a type of false teeth cleaning tablet) and a MEGA pack of incontinence pads!

Helen graciously thanked them very much before they left, never revealing her true feelings, lol, she may be 81, she knows that, but for goodness sake she needed neither.  She said she uses the Steradent to clean out her red wine decanters and they do a very good job of that, and she thinks she may have to use the incontinence pads to take of her makeup with.

Another art blog featuring a Public Sculpture that I made on the topic of living life to the fullest no matter what your age is this one;132 Age is just a state of mind

I so wish I had met her earlier and also met her late husband Stan, apparently he was a character too.  He loved his garden and would go out and water his flowers and plants every morning-in the nude-mind you, well maybe not completely as he always wore a hat and tie, but nothing else.  What a sight for sore eyes.

So I keep telling myself do not judge a book by its cover, you never know what treasures you may find inside.

I feel sure this quote is one that Helen does not live by, lol as said in jest (I’m sure) by Janeane Garofalo.

“The glass is always half empty.  And cracked. And I just cut my lip on it. And chipped a tooth”

Till next time happy painting and sculpting to you all!

Love Marie  xx

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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