Good morning. Tina here. Hope you are enjoying fall as much as I am.
In November 2009 I wrote a post on Ethel Phegley's painted tiles with scenes from El Dorado County, the link to that post is below.
A reader and former El Dorado resident named Nancy emailed me a few months ago and sent pictures of a tile and two paintings she had inherited from her father when he passed away a couple of years ago. She also told the story of her memories of the tile, which I am going to include in part in this post.
Below is Nancy's tile, painted by Ethel.
This is Nancy's story:
My grandparents lived out on a ranch in Smith Flat in the late 1930s and into the 1940s. There, they raised my father and his sister, and raised turkeys for sale. The ranch had a round barn. For some reason, Grandma always loved that round barn. At some point, the family moved to town. I take that they lost touch with Ethel. Even later, Grandma and Grandpa were perusing artwork at the county fair. Grandma spotted the tile of the round barn and immediately recognized it. She told me that she was so surprised to see that it had been painted by Mrs. Phegley, but so pleased to have it as a remembrance of her favorite place. Mrs. Phegley labeled the back as being the "Round Barn Hanaford Ranch." I always enjoyed seeing the vibrant colors of this tile in the morning light, as I sat at Grandma's kitchen table waiting for Grandpa to fix his famous (and favorite) home-made sourdough pancakes.
I really love this painting, above, by Ethel. I am going to be driving up Highway 50 on Friday, and I will be looking forward to beautiful views of the Sierras just as she has depicted here.
And if you are craving a restful trip to the sea, imagine yourself enjoying the warm sand next to the Pacific. Can't you smell the salt and seaweed?
Since I wrote my post on Ethel's tiles, I found out a bit more information about her. She was a member of the Placerville Shakespeare Club and passed away in the 1970s. I wish I had met her.
I hope to find more examples of her art someday. Thank you to Nancy for sharing her story and paintings with us!