This week, one of the foxes asked about the art in our homes. I could look at this several ways. Art has been an important part of my family for several generations, so my house is full of the creative efforts of many family members. I’ve decided to go back a few generations and work my way forward.
My Grandpa on my dad’s side was an artist in the traditional sense. He graduated from the Imperial Art Academy in Tokyo at the beginning of the 20th Century, and studied in Paris. I have two of his watercolors in my living room, where they hang in a place of honor. Both of these paintings are framed, and I had a difficult time getting pictures without a lot of glare. Long ago, I owned a glass lamp that grandpa had painted. Unfortunately, that lamp didn’t survive my first move after my husband and I got married.
My father was an accountant by training, but he definitely inherited some of his father’s artistic talent. I remember a few times growing up when I struggled to draw. He took my pencil and showed me how to use geometry to place the features in a logical way so that my faces looked like people, horses looked like horses instead of monsters, and houses look like more than cartoons. He taught me about perspective, about how things fit together. During his later years, he got interested in woodworking. The mathematician in him insisted that each piece fit together perfectly. The artist in him turned functional pieces into works of art. He created lovely things, like napkin holders, paper towel holders, and a few special projects, like a mug holder to fit a specific spot in one of our vehicles. One of his last projects before he passed away was to create a set of deck chairs for each of his kids. Once the weather gets warm and stays that way, I’ll take these out by the pool.
Even with dad’s tutoring, I can’t draw very well. But I love to create things, and spend as much time as I’m able to carve out on arts and crafts projects. In the past, I did a lot of counted cross-stitching, and I’ve made a lot of home décor stuff including several of our Christmas ornaments. But lately I’ve turned to smaller, quicker projects like lap quilts and paper arts such as card-making. I also enjoy other people’s art – I love to browse through art and craft shows, where I pick up things like the lovely items in our bedroom. The quilt was purchased from my church’s quilt guild several years ago.
My children use their creativity in other ways. One of my daughters took graphic design classes in college, so she had the ability to create digital art for me when I needed a logo for promotional purposes, such as the banner I take to book signings. She also created a lovely collage of photos for our dining room, and she’s one of my go-to tech experts when I’m trying to create memes and teasers. We also have several scrapbooks that she put together back when she was in junior high and had time to do things with me.
One of my grandsons designed my website. Okay, so this isn’t art in my home, but I’m continuing the thought that art of different kinds run through my family. On the other hand, my youngest granddaughter and I sometimes work on little projects when she comes to spend time with me. Here are some pictures she did recently with different colors of sand. She also likes to create birthday cards and colors things for us to display throughout our house. I imagine we’ll be displaying her work for some time to come!