where does 'talent' come from?

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Joan Bakker painting

I was thinking about the fact I am so happy when painting. Even when I was making the painting 'Diena meets God', after her sudden death, I was humming, singing and whistling. She used to love to hear me making those sounds. So I have a gift. Given to me. Where did that come from?

My mother, here in the photo at the right, was well into her eighties doing a portrait of me. She was a good painter, forever doing things. In my family, my sister Margaretha inherited this as does my other sister Ursula: they are always doing things with their hands. My nephews and nieces are painting, taking photo's, acting, writing or 'doing' something in the creative field. My brother Norman loves his music and not only knows his composers but can pick the soloists. My daughter is an opera singer of some renown. I have said before I believe painters are the 'labourers' of the Muses. I'll tell you why.
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Many years ago, when I was doing a lot of stitching on canvasses, I was speaking with a very nice young man called Robert Pongrass. He had developed an embroidery 'machine', cannot remember the how but I was interested in how I could use that on my canvasses and as we were talking about those things the word talent came to pass. At the time I had a show at the Holdsworth Gallery in Woollahra, Sydney and Robert's family were of Hungarian Jewish origin. As was Mrs. Scheinberg, the owner of the gallery. I asked Robert a question: 'Of all the super talented violinists, why are so many Jewish?' I specifically asked about violinists as they cannot cheat talent. You're good or not (painters can get away with hell). It didn't take Robert too long to answer me: 'I imagine because of the Jewish tradition of Match Making!'. Makes sense, doesn't it. A very musical boy needs maybe a girl who at least understands what he is doing etc.etc.etc. Their offspring might inherit a double dose.

Yep, I can hold the brush and paint away but without talent and discipline I couldn't hold the bow of a violin! I can burp when painting. Try that while playing Beethoven's Moonshine Sonata.

paul bakker