8×3.5 Watercolor & Colored Pencil
Family History as Inspiration
There’s a small, barely map-worthy lake in the Connecticut town I grew up in. I didn’t spend time there as a kid, but later, after moving to California and exploring my family’s history & genealogy, I discovered photos of sailing and family gatherings from the late 1930’s on the lake. With a little research, I found that my grandfather and one of his brothers purchased/built side-by-side cabins on the lake, and most of the nine siblings enjoyed summers boating, swimming and barbecuing on the water with their families, until all the men left to serve in the military during WWII.
Painting What you Feel
The watercolor & colored pencil piece above is a study from a snapshot taken a few months ago, on that same Connecticut lake, in a modest, pitched-floor, 60 year old cabin I stayed in while attending a family memorial service. It seemed fitting for the occasion to sit by the water, just across from the same shore my great Aunts & Uncles used to swim and sail in, before the War, when everyone still lived in town, and family get-togethers were likely festive, loud and rambunctious. I felt very inspired there, in a quiet and reflective way, so making art from the photos was a sweet little respite from the chaos of December to-do’s.
Have you made art from photos of the places, rooms and landscapes your family has history in?
Thanks for visiting and I’ll see you in the next post!
|Early morning on the lake|
You don’t become an ‘artist’ unless you’ve got something missing somewhere. Blaise Pascal called it a God-shaped hole. Everyone’s got one but some are blacker and wider than others. It’s a feeling of being abandoned, cut adrift in space and time – sometimes following the loss of a loved one. You can never completely fill that hole – you can try with songs, family, faith and by living a full life…but when things are silent, you can still hear the hissing of what’s missing. Bono