photograph showcase, treasures

Photograph Showcase: Grandma Costello’s Art

COSTELLO, Mary, 1939 sailboat art - smaller

This lovely little sailboat was created by my Great Grandma Mary Brown Young Costello in 1939 using chalk.  It appears to be an oil chalk.  My great aunt recently gave it to my sister who brought it straight to me to scan.

What a little treasure!  Grandma Costello was very talented.  She crocheted, cross-stitched, tatted, arranged flowers at a flower shop, and apparently created beautiful chalk drawings.

Aunt Barbara said that Grandpa Costello didn’t like her to draw.  I’m curious about that.  I wish I had been there to ask a few follow-up questions.  Like, did he dislike her art or the time she spent?  Or did she go somewhere to take a class and maybe that was his issue?  Expense, time, or a handsome art teacher?  😉

I am so happy my sister has a new family treasure to love and that she allowed me to capture a high quality scan so we can all enjoy Grandma Costello’s art.


Do you have any artists in your family?  How do you preserve and share their work?


ps – This drawing is framed under glass.  I did not remove it from the frame because of it’s age and the fact that it was created with chalk.  I scanned it on a high quality flat-bed scanner at my local family history center.  It turned out great!  I scanned it as a .tiff at about 1200 dpi so that family members could print the image in whatever size they prefer.  I sized it down and saved it as a .jpeg to share here.

24 thoughts on “Photograph Showcase: Grandma Costello’s Art”

  1. What a beautiful treasure you have. My grandmother also sketched and painted. I have a self-portrait from 1914 and an water color of her farm in North Fairfield, Ohio hanging in my home office. My sister has another watercolor of me fishing in Lake Erie. I can’t paint or sketch at all, but my daughter can. I guess that talent skipped a generation.

        1. Thank you Amy! I was quite impressed actually. I didn’t know our flatbed scanners could handle an image under glass so well. I was just really glad it was exactly the right size. Any bigger and it wouldn’t have worked.

  2. I agree that this is a beauty. I felt so peaceful while looking at the boat on the lake. Your Grandmother captured the quality of a shoreline at daybreak. Saving as a TIFF file type was the best choice. I had all my Grandmother’s photos professionally scanned. They returned as TIFF files. There is a definite difference when they are converted to JPEGs.

    1. Thank you EmilyAnn! I agree, this image has a very peaceful quality to it. And definitely yes on the .tiff format being the best! It is larger, but that is great. Especially since digital storage is so affordable now.

  3. Beautiful. You may remember my writing about my great-grandfather who did ink drawings. I grew up seeing “The Grizzly” in my grandparents home. Then years later a second cousin shared another titled “Panther and Deer.” Another cousin had the third one, “The Leopard” and shared it. It makes us all feel so much more connected.

    1. Oh yes! I do remember. I think it’s so special to be able to feel connected to an ancestor’s talent or passion. It’s different from just learning about their life, struggles, and triumphs. It’s a bit of genealogy pizazz. 🙂

  4. Oh wow, it is really beautiful and shimmery. What a treasure! We have my mother-in-law’s paintings. So hard to know what to do with them, but when my kids have their own homes it will help.

  5. Beautiful artwork and made even more meaningful because it’s from your great grandmother! Such a treasure! I have a cousin who is an extremely talented artist and has sold her work in galleries across the country. I don’t have any of her artwork because I couldn’t afford it. Yep, you read that right…..

Leave a Reply