A is for art; the artist I married and the three artists I gave birth to, the supplies they use to create, and all the art they have created, are creating, and will continue to create. A is for the awareness -- my increased awareness -- of the world around me because of the artist I married and those three artists I birthed.
I have learned and admired much, I've been inspired, and I've struggled a bit, too. I guess I wouldn't change too much, although I would like to wave my magic wand and declare art an undeniable essential to the well-being of all; a non-discretionary living expense not subject to line-item veto on the budget.
The girls have been creating ever since they could hold implements. That's Ali and Katie... I'm going to guess ages 3 and 5. They're sprawled over and on a big work table in the studio, busy with paper, pencils and markers. We have reams and reams of paper from all three girls, on which their early periods are well represented: the scribbles-on-paper period, the amoeba-people period, the big-head period, the full-body tracings period. It's been (and continues to be) an amazing journey, seeing their take on the world, the perception, whimsy, fantasy.
They've even inspired their dad. That's an extreme close-up of a painting he did many years ago called Porch With Kid Drawings. Those are actual drawings by our actual kids. I think the one at lower left depicts a turkey.
When they learned to write, they began illustrating their stories -- wonderful stories about three "witchs" at Halloween (Katie, Ali and their cousin), princesses, families, going to the store. I'd better watch it as this could easily morph into "A is for Author." (And again with the reams and reams of paper.)
The avocation of many, vocation of some, art is in their DNA; it's their past, present, and future. An incredible, creative lineage that includes painters, wood-carvers and -turners, ceramicists, and a glass-blower -- not to mention the sewing, quilting, embroidery, tatting, rug-hooking, knitting and crocheting. One of their great great great great grandfathers listed "basket-maker and musician" as his occupation when he came to this country from Germany.
Madeleine just finished the stippled piece on the left; that's only a quarter of one of Ali's pieces in the middle; and Katie's high school freshman self-portrait. The thumbnails are deceiving -- Maddy's work is about 4x8 inches, while Katie's is more like 2x4 feet, as is the whole of Ali's.
Detail of Katie's self-portrait. I always think Renaissance, Da Vinci, Madonna when I look at this piece, and especially the eyes.