The time honored custom of parents and grandparents reading to their children never gets old.
In the old west, few educational facilities were available and not every child attended school. My mother said, "You were always asking your father and me to read stories." Because of my childhood memories I decided to begin sketches for this historical painting.
I was inspired to create this 30” X 30” oil painting on linen called "Story Time."
In doing my research I found many interesting facts along the way. In 1860 only 30 percent of school aged children attended classes. That figure rose as United States westward expansion continued and by 1870 the number was reported to be around 52 percent. Sometimes because of the household and farm 'chores' expected of children, attending school might not be an option until they were in their teens, if at all. This grandfather valued the fact that he knew how to read at great individual sacrifice. He stayed up late at night and read by a kerosene lamp during his younger cowboy days. However, some pioneer parents believed that learning to be self-reliant, resourceful and strong was more important than “book learning.” Many of the pioneers that believed educational enrichment was unnecessary, seemed to be those with less education themselves.
However, western education did survive and it was often seen in the form of a one room schoolhouse. Just to see an old grandfather reading stories to his beloved granddaughter is a blessing.
This granddaughter really should not have picked those Texas bluebonnets in the lower right corner, but who is going to arrest such a sweet little girl. 🙆♀