Matilija poppies and Ethel Phegley.
Our lovely poppies are blooming happily and are sending scent out attracting bees, butterflies, moths, and humming birds.
I discovered the matilija poppy growing in a yard in Sutter Creek during a watercolor workshop. Little did I know then, it was to be another tie to one of my favorite local artists, Ethel Phegley.
I searched for a long time before I finally found a poppy to plant in my own yard. That was about fifteen years ago, and now that one plant has multiplied and proudly covers part of our hillside above the river.
These photos were taken last week, we have even more flowers covering the green now.
Ethel, I wish you were still here so you could come and paint with me.
Ethel Phegley, who lived in Smithflat, California, near Placerville, was married to Milton. In March 1941 it was reported in the Mountain Democrat that she and her husband sold apple dolls and miniature novelty pictures (possibly her painted tiles that I so love?) and their phone number was 66R1. Ethel died in 1980 at the age of 85. She was born in Ohio and lived 52 years in El Dorado County. She was a member of the Northern California Artists (as of 1951), Placerville Shakespeare Club, Placerville Arts Association, and, in another coincidence, the Hangtown Grange, which I have just joined this month. Ethel was listed in the paper on September 2, 1963 as a new member of the Grange. Ethel appeared several times in the paper as a judge, instructor, and presenter at art shows.
As you may know from my other posts about Ethel, I am always searching for more of her art. Lucky for me, my search has paid off again. This time I have found a painting. It is lovely, large, and found its perfect home, here in Kelsey, where the matilija poppies are taking over. The gentleman I bought it from said it came from his grandfather's estate. I wonder if he knew Ethel?
Thank you Ethel for enjoying these poppies as much as I do! Thank you for your art, and forging the way ahead for me as an artist, and as a member of the Placerville Shakespeare Club and Hangtown Grange! It is almost like I have met you. I hope to see you again soon!
Until we meet again...