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Lifestyle

August 22, 2013

Three of a kind

Beverly grandmother, granddaughter unite for art exhibit, and remember the daughter and mother they lost

The two painters currently exhibiting at Beverly Farms Library, Valerie McCaffrey and Christine Green, have a lot in common.

In addition to being talented artists, they are grandmother and granddaughter, and enjoy a close relationship that they explore in their show.

“She’s the reason I’m painting,” Green said of her grandmother. “Every time I would go over to her house, we’d be doing art. I guess you could say there’s some natural talent there, but she is definitely the reason I could grasp that natural talent and take off with it.”

Most works in the show are self-portraits, a genre Green focused on during her junior year at Beverly High School, but there are portraits of other people.

“We decided, when she came up with the title ‘You and Me, Me and You,’ we would do a painting of each other,” said McCaffrey, who has taught art classes at her Garage School of Art for 18 years.

Green’s portrait of her grandmother, “Her Glow,” depicts McCaffrey’s smiling face, beaming under the brim of a hat.

McCaffrey’s painting, “Christine Elizabeth Unfinished,” shows Green in her prom dress seated at a piano — she is a pianist as well as a painter — working on a canvas that is propped on the keyboard.

“The only finished part of that painting is the figure of Christine,” McCaffrey said.

Christine’s parents, Cathleen and Matthew Green, stand in the background, where Matthew holds a younger version of Christine in his arms. Their forms are less distinct, as if they are watching her from the past, while their love is realized in Christine’s creative work.

“I’m a narrative painter,” McCaffrey said. “My paintings have a lot of stuff in them.”

As Christine’s mother and Valerie’s daughter, Cathleen Green forms a third “you” in the exhibit, and is the main subject of two other paintings in the show.

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