The art of my childhood

Every time when I walk into the converted guest bedroom that serves as my office, I see two pieces of art hanging on the wall from when I was a child. It was not until today when they were removed from the frame for scanning, did I discover a third, a smaller drawing, hidden behind the larger one. These drawings with watercolour were done when I had just turned five and six years of age and are the only ones I have of my childhood as a budding future artist.

October 8, 1954, 156 x 116 mm

I remember little surrounding these drawing, except for my insistence to paint the clouds blue and the flowers in this smaller illustration represent sunflowers. I would be speculating, the artwork could have been done after a visit to the countryside to see my grandfather, since we lived in the city. Though I was only five, I remember clearly a row of houses to one side of the street and empty farmland on the other, where the soil was being tilted and in the distance a number of large mounds of harvest debris were smoldered, leaving a trail of soft grey smoke against the afternoon sun.

August 88, 1955, 215 x 180 mm w/o support

Each one in its own way tells of a story, a reflection of the times. Not the time we live in, but rather a snapshot of my little universe within four walls, one without the presence of a father. He was away for weeks on the passenger ocean liner Italia, crossing the Atlantic between Hamburg and New York. The ship was built in 1928 for the Swedish American Liner, at which time the vessel was named Kungsholm. She changed ownership several times during its lifetime operation and it was during the years when Home Lines acquired her in 1948, renaming her SS Italia where my father served on board as a maitre d’.

Postcard images of the SS Italia

Little did I know at the time, that within two years we would cross the Atlantic Ocean for America, pulling up roots and temporarily planting them in New York, where we stayed with my aunt. Within a few months of our arrival, we left the ‘Big Apple’ and crossed America in a burgundy Chevrolet two-door coup my father had brought. With our destination being Hollywood, we traveled in part on the legendary Highway 66 and though the landmark highway has been replaced, I have from time to time longed for a trip down memory lane, to see what is left of the true American architecture and the people still living there. For I am sad to admit, any memories from the 1957 road trip are lost, as any recollection of my time in Arizona or Nevada are fuzzed together in a blur of one big endless adventure.

September 14, 1955, 246 x 180 mm

I do not know if any other drawings or watercolours were ever saved, only to be lost when we moved, I am very happy to have these three to pass along to my children. I hope will cherish and keep them safe along with all their art that we cherished and saved, marking the different stages of their individual progress.


Earlier last month I launched my third blog, The DIRECTORY that is not only my blog roll, but also serves as an artists resource with numerous links to other sites on a variety of subject matter. If you have not done so already, please do have a visit and add yourself as a follower in order to receive monthly updates.


Betty said...

Dear Egmont
I always loved children's drawings, they absolutely reflect innocence and a kind of naive look.
I love yours , they are just pieces of art.
I love this post!.
Betty ;)

Kathy said...

Dear Egmont,
Your drawings and recollections are priceless! Thank you for sharing your unique experience and the grand adventures of your life. It is fortunate for us that you landed on our shores!

ArtPropelled said...

These are great drawings Egmont and I loved hearing some interesting history about your family.

LemonyRenee' said...

Thanks for sharing these wonderful little renderings as well as the accompanying memories. You have an interesting story, to be sure.

I have now become sorry we did not save any of my son's work from what we term "his minimalist stage." He was about 3 or 4 and was decidedly not into coloring or drawing, but we would still try to encourage it. He was, however, our first (and only, at that time) child and he knew he definitely could do no wrong in our eyes. So, during that "period," he would simply drag a crayon across of blank piece of paper for an inch or two and leave it at that. He would present it to us as if he was giving us something so, so excruciatingly executed. We knew he was trying to pull a fast one, but he did it so cutely (see? first child). I should have saved a couple of those as we certainly laugh about that stage often now. Perhaps I did save them and they are in the file cabinet -- a great abyss of children's artwork and early school accomplishments.

Thanks for this post. I so enjoyed it.

Poetic Artist said...

Thank you for sharing these..A reminder of of our childhood. You were very detailed in your work.
How lucky to have saved these treasures.

-Don said...

What a cool find! To find that 3rd masterpiece had to be quite exciting for you. Thanks for sharing. Your trip down memory lane started my mind to thinking about my artistic journey. Thanks for that, as well.

Three of my favorite works of art are our 3 children's very first self-portraits. That moment of self-discovery is quite cherished.


-Don said...

What a cool find! To find that 3rd masterpiece had to be quite exciting for you. Thanks for sharing. Your trip down memory lane started my mind to thinking about my artistic journey. Thanks for that, as well.

Three of my favorite works of art are our 3 children's very first self-portraits. That moment of self-discovery is quite cherished.


Anna said...


These are most wonderful! For sure they present a proof of the fact that you are truly talented, as well as a prediction for the artist you became.
The third one is also a great snapshot of a young child's healthy view of his world; right proportions of the family members and also a great equilibrium /healthy behavioral dynamics among his parents and towards himself. I am so happy for this healthy and full of goodness view of a child's world.
You made me smile!!!

Studio Sylvia said...

Egmont, how precious to still have those drawings of innocence, recording a child's perspective. Simplicity and honesty at its best. Thanks for sharing your work and relating a snippet of your recollections of childhood adventure.

La Dolce Vita said...

How fortunate you are my dear, to have art work that you created during your childhood! Such a a wonderful bench mark in the life of an amazing artist. I am fascinated by your story of moving to the US and I too have a fondness for Route 66, but alas it is no longer what it was. Our memory is far better!
blessings, caterina

S. Etole said...

I still have some of my son's artwork and he will soon turn 43 ... there's something about life through a child's eyes that is exceedingly precious

Kim Hambric said...

You are lucky to have those childhood masterpieces. What a thrill to discover the third!

Thanks for sharing your story. I enjoy reading of others' childhoods (usually) and placing them together with who they are now.

Ange said...

Oh Egmont how lucky for you to still have some paintings from your childhood. And very advanced may I add for such a young child too!! Beautiful compostition and colour. All mine have disappeared between moves from country to country and housefires which is sad as some from around the age of 8 I distinctly remember... I did manage to salvage some poems from that gooey age of 17 though - not sure I will ever work up the courage to put them on my blog ;-)

Dan Kent said...

Someone recently told me that our drawings are like a pictorial diary. It's true that many times I look at my drawings, I remember much about where I was at that time. Nice that it actually works that far back. And, by the way, for ages 5 and 6 these are great!

layers said...

how wonderful you have some early drawings of your childhood-- and the memories to go with them--

Patrina said...


It was such a blessing to share these budding artist memories with you...thank you. I liked hearing your story as you see it now. I have artwork from my own childhood; my children's and now my grandchildren's. But even more precious is a find this past summer when I spent 2 months gettting mom and dad's house for sell - was a piece of artwork that my mother had mad when she was in elementary school. It was a face of a donkey made out of tiny little colored squares ~ glued onto construction paper. Sadly, many of the squares had came unglued. Whe I picked it up , more fell off. I spent an hour or more trying to fit them all back on and in their places. But Sadley, she was better at it then I. It was such a special find! That reminds me, I should take a picture of it before it comes apart completely!! Thanks for reminding me to perseve it. It's probably 70 years old! No wonder it fell apart. The glue just disenigrated. :)

OH, thanks for joining my blog and for adding me to your directory page! I am honored! Thank you

Blessings Patrina <")>><

Eva said...

A very interesting post as usual Egmont. I always enjoy seeing childhood art. Uncomplicated, fresh and so honest. You are fortunate that yours were saved. Real treasures.

rivergardenstudio said...

I love that you have your paintings framed and can see them every day, and that the stories of your families adventures are so clear. I need to think about those days too, of traveling across the ocean and then across the united states, (like you!) roxanne

Trudi Sissons said...

Isn't that a thrilling experience - the third drawing! They are so precious - the primary color focus - the attention to detail...not surprising. I'm writing as I overlook the old town and responding in part to your post - no, in fact, I didn't partake in the deMeng workshop, just as a passerby. Thanks for your visit. Good to see your blog followers growing - you deserve a large audience.

Sophie Munns said...

How utterly charming Egmont!
The ITALIA is "fantastico" - and the precision - it has always been there with you... wonderful stories and wonderful hints of what was to come.

All that adventure for a young child!

Anonymous said...

So special that you still have your childhood drawings, and what potential they demonstrate. I am sure your children will cherish them and keep them for THEIR children.

Liz.Blog said...

Not only is the story of your families crossing to America and move across country fascinating, but your painting of the ocean liner "Italia" is captivating!Brilliant in it's design and colors. I'm so honored you've posted these pieces that shaped your life.

Luzia said...

Lieber Egmont, wie wunderbar, dass diese alten Zeichnungen noch vorhanden sind! Wahre Schätze Deiner Kindheit und Zeitzeugnisse dazu. Vielen Dank für Deine Email und die Aufforderung in Deutsch zu schreiben. Auf Grund Deines Namens hätte ich allerdings vermutet, dass Du holländischer Abstammung wärst. Herzliche Grüße von Luzia.