The “Romance” of It

Once upon a time, I had my “romance novel” phase, with one particular author: Diana Gabaldon. Her Outlander series sparked an interest in me that no other in that genre has or had done.

I started reading the series from a used paperback copy of “Outlander” in 1993 or 4. I bought edition 4? and waited in line as she signed copies in Barnes and Noble, a line that wrapped around the store. For my purchased copies of the first 3 hardcovers, I have signed bookplates, ordered from her web site then. I gobbled up every available story in that series, through new editors and printers, the cover changes, the “Outlander Companion” scandal when the first companion book came out, rather than the new novel. I have read up to the current book, “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.” However, there became so many offshoots and parallel plots to Jamie and Claire’s own story, that my fervor cooled enormously. Then the tv movies they made just had a “little more color” than I’m used to that the love scenes lost their mystery and intimacy. I also hope I don’t die before I know the ending to Jamie and Claire’s own story.

But, back to the days before the Battle of Culloden, in her books, I could smell the heather, feel the tearing through the stones, and Jamie became my hero. Who could be more alluring? The history was magnetic, I had to find a way to be Scot. There must have been some in my dna, however I failed to find even one gene in that direction. I bought books on the war, the clans, the dirks, etc., and put out two paintings during the time of my ardent, early love.

The first painting was an attempt to paint Jamie. I missed it, but when you’re in love, what would that matter? I had bought a Gaelic Bible, and painted the verse from Micah, “Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise!” in Gaelic on the painting. A little corny, but when you’re in love, what would that matter?

I donated the painting to a fundraising auction, the auctioneer stole the painting and never put it up for bids. He, apparently, was Scot. He also was made to recompense me by providing one of his own art works, a silver tree, which reminds me of those days, even if the silver is as tarnished as my initial fervor.

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“Do Not Rejoice Over Me When I Fall” –  24″x 48″ – Oil ©Jean Bohlender

The second painting was my response to the history of the Battle of Culloden, my dismay resulting from the Redcoat’s nastiness, Jack Randall’s in particular.

I painted the untrue outcome of the battle, where the Scot stole the horse, and killed the Redcoat. Indeed, the true history was dark and tragic.

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A Different Ending – 60″x 48″ – Oil ©Jean Bohlender

Of course, it was a redhead Scot, in Fraser dress plaid, on a white horse, no less.

This painting is somewhere in Texas, I traded it years ago for a piano for my daughter.

These images are taken before I had a “real camera”, one day I hope to have better images. But for now, they tell the story, and a good story it is. Diana Gabaldon can tell an amazing story, that is a fact.

 

 

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