Thursday, August 19, 2010

Family (H)art


Come in, come in, just follow the crowds (hehe). I hope you don’t mind if I indulge myself. I have created a gallery of visual art by members of my family. It’s my gift to me mostly, an acknowledgement of the love of growing up with Art as a recurring character in our family tree. It’s long, but you can be grateful that every single member of my family is not represented. In total we number 70 living souls, if I count correctly (math is not my strongest subject), but I am only including the visual artists, several of whom have passed on. I'm sharing 15 artists in all. I am defining visual art narrowly, as what you can hang on a wall (except for one exception, one of Lesley’s). Please click on the images if you’d like to see the details enlarged. I’ll start from oldest to youngest, except me. I’ll be last, but it doesn’t mean I’m saving the best for it. I’m just trying to be polite. Of course just look at pictures if you don't want to read all the information about the artists. I wouldn't blame you one bit, I know you're busy. This is documentation for my family and me as much as anything.

DISCLAIMER: I took photographs of many of these images, or the artists did, so there might be glare, or distortions. Blur your eyes when necessary.

Welcome, won’t you come in? Would you like an audio guide? They’re only $5. Or you can leave your photo ID. (I don’t really have an audio guide, I was just kidding.)

Corn, by Grandma Elizabeth

1 Grandma Elizabeth  b. 1870 d. 1957. My dad’s mother was 47 when Dad was born (and his dad, also a minister, was 70 when Dad was born and fought in the Civil War!), and I do not know if I met her. She died in Charlottesville, Virginia less than a year after I arrived. When my older siblings knew her, she was deaf and used an ear horn to hear. I know little else. Were we ever surprised when Dad was dying gently on a hospice bed in his dining room in 1995, and someone found this corn painting of Grandma’s in the attic. We had never seen nor heard of it, or that she was an artist. Lucky me, it’s hanging on the wall in our bedroom. (We don't have a formal dining room, where it would be more appropriate.) Sorry about the glare and distortion, I tried to photoshop it out and just couldn't get all of it.

2 Grandma Olive  b. 1891 d. 1960. I’ve posted about Grandma Olive, my mom’s mother, many times at this blog. I have no memory of her, she died when I was 3 or 4. After graduating from the Art Institute in Chicago, Olive was a professional artist/designer/illustrator in the 1920s and 30s. She designed clothes for Vogue and wallpaper for Thibaut. Her pen and ink drawings illustrated World Book encyclopedias and newspaper ads. You know that curious little sepia girl studying life from my sidebar? It’s one of hers, from a page in World Book, below. In this gallery I’ve also included a cabinet she painted that now lives in our family room. Mom said her mother used to go tromping on the streets of NYC looking for dilapidated bargains and would bring them home and doll them up. Below is also her cover illustration for the Bayonne Times (she resided in Bayonne, New Jersey) when the NY Holland Tunnel opened – the world’s first vehicular tunnel.

Illustration in World Book Encyclopedia, Grandma Olive

The "bastard" cabinet (so-called by an antiques dealer
who said it mixed many styles)
that Grandma Olive rescued and painted

Cover and detail in the Bayonne Times, on the event
of the opening of the Holland Tunnel, by Grandma Olive

3 Uncle Jimmie  b. 1906 d. 1994. My dad’s 10-year-older brother. The subject of a poem I posted. Uncle Jimmie had his own printing company, and he used to send us calendars at Christmas with prints from his carved woodblocks. Woodblock prints require a long, arduous and painstaking process, with a different block carved for each color, leaving the rest of the design uncarved and left for another block, then having to align everything perfectly.

Woodblock prints, by Uncle Jimmie 

4 Mom  b. 1916 d. 1997. Though my mom was a musical artist (pianist, choir director and composer), not so much a visual one, I’m including sheet music from an operetta she wrote based on Alice in Wonderland, which I only just learned about from my niece Shari, herself a splendid pianist, who inherited her grandma's handwritten sheet music. It has Mom's maiden name on it, but I have no idea when she wrote it. I think the flourishes of musical note flags are lyrically and visually beautiful. I sat by my mom on the piano bench as a toddler while she composed, watching her play a phrase, then transcribe the notes onto staff paper, painstakingly, one phrase at a time. Eventually I started pounding out melodies after hearing them repeated so often, surprising everyone. Too bad I didn't turn into a prodigy.

My mom's composition of the operetta, Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, never published

5 Dad  b. 1917 d. 1995. The image of him at right is the day he pronounced Don and me Husband & Wife. In his early days as a minister, my father supplemented his income with signs he painted. He was a fine pen and ink artist as well and created his own bookplate, below. Engravers duplicated the image on his and Mom's gravestone. Hart was his name, but it was also an animal (another word for deer) in a beautiful Psalm verse that represented his heart for God: As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, oh God.  ~ Psalm 42:1.

Dad's pen and ink bookplate.

Mom and Dad's grave stone, with Dad's art work
(that's the headstone of my childhood Dr. Garlock behind)

6 Boots, aka Ginnie  My sister.

I grew up watching Bootsie draw. She drew this girl very early, in high school I think. Now she uses Soul Girl as her avatar at In Soul, her blog, after I suggested it, since it so perfectly represents her spirit. She is also an inspired photographer, and I am including a photo of windmills, one of her favorite symbols. She lives near Amsterdam with her wife Astrid, where they are legally married. (When oh when will we catch up in the U.S.?) I like that both these images are about wind. Her blog is In Soul and her photoblog is Hart & Soul, where she unfolds her beautiful eye and insights into life.

Soul Girl, by Ginnie

Windmills, by Ginnie

7 Bennett  My brother, who passed away in 1996.

I’ve blogged about Bennett a lot. I think there is no one who has shaped my world view more than he did, eight years my senior. He loved to shoot rustic scenes in Nova Scotia and New England. He shot this Greek Orthodox priest in Greece in the 1970s. (Do you think they were related?) Bennett died before the advent of digital photography, and I think he would have loved it, though he also had his own dark room and loved to spend hours deep into the night developing prints. I have no way of knowing if this print I photographed was one he was happy with, since he discarded so many out of perfectionism. My photo of it also does not do it justice, and one of these days we’ll need to scan it or its negative (I think one of my nephews Paul or Todd, see below, might have Ben’s negatives). This photo, which he made a very large print of, won grand prize at a photography show, and was breathtaking. I have also included the poster he used to advertise his work. The grasshopper was his “avatar.” (Again, sorry for the glare on that one.)

Greek Orthodox priest, by Bennett

Bennett's photography show poster

8 John My brother.

John and Bennett are in the photo at right at the Acropolis in 1970 -- John is on the left; click to see their handsome faces better. John is my closest sibling in age, four years my senior. We spent many hours at the kitchen table sketching, and I was always amazed at his abilities. Strange story of synchronicity: As I was preparing this post last weekend, Don found the following charcoal John did of our dad in our barn in my dad’s things, quite by accident, accompanied by the touching poem. In a quick phone call to John he told me he believes he created them together sometime in his teens. I'll type out the poem here, because it touches me and expresses something of my own sense of things growing up.

You were tall and I was small—
I gazed wide-eyed at your legs and feet.
You’d hear the ring, then answer the call
and head off down the street.
(I tried, when you walked,
to follow along, but your steps were hard to reach).
And it seemed to me you never talked,
except to pun or preach.

Your silent side was good for me;
it helped me grow inside.
I watched and listened, and I could see
the heart you couldn’t hide.
I remember well one hurtful day
how you loved me in your quiet way.
You stood at my door with tears in your eyes;
your heart reached for mine with pain-laden sighs.

When I was liddle I watched you diddle—always on your knee;
You were tall and I was small, but I knew it was just for me,
‘cause after awhile—
you’d smile.

~ John

charcoal of Dad, poem to Dad, by John

9 Todd  My nephew – my sister Nancy’s son.

Todd is a web and graphic designer, among many other things. The first image, titled “Esther,” is a pen and ink drawing he created in high school. Todd has also started a photography business doing photo shoots with models (his web site is here). The second image of Margaret was shot during a photo session at our farm.

Esther, by Todd
Margaret, by Todd, shot at our farm

10 Paul  My nephew -- my brother Jim’s son.

Paul's four kids are often his photo subjects. Paul provides design for software professionally and is also quite successful selling his photos at iStock on the side. (His best seller? A hospital emergency sign.) I fell in love with these two portraits of his kids Lydia, Eli, Aden and Clara, when he posted them at his flickr photostream, taken at our family cottage about a month ago. In fact, these images were what got me inspired to do this family gallery. They remind me of a cut-out silhouette we had done at Knott’s Berry Farm when Lesley was little (right).

Clara and Aden, by Paul

Lydia, Eli, Clara and Aden, by Paul, at our cottage

11 Mark My nephew -- Ginnie/Bootsie’s son.

Mark shot this spontaneous family portrait of us on the frozen lake over New Year’s one year. That’s our family cottage on the hill in the upper left of the photo. Mark is a computer programmer and also studied photography at the Maine Photographic Workshops. I’m trying to remember why we were smiling so geekily in this photo, I think we had just been skating around and slipping on the sliding ice like spazzes. We’ve paused for Mark and are holding on to each other for dear life. Oh! I just noticed . . . that scarf hugging Lesley's head is one of the only things I've ever knitted.

Family Portrait, by Mark

12 Rachel My niece – my brother John’s daughter.

Rachel lives in Utah with her husband Swede and is dying to have her own studio to create art again. She teaches English and math to special needs students in middle school. I just love this acrylic Paris painting, her own version of Starry Night. Don't Swede and Rachel look like they were just tango-ing?

Paris, by Rachel

13 Lesley   My daughter.

Lesley went to art school in Detroit (College for Creative Studies), earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design, and a minor in Fibers. I have some gorgeous wearable art she has made. When she has time and energy after working very hard as a commercial interior designer in NYC, she knits, makes beautiful jewelry and creates re-styled clothes from vintage. I have included her charcoal self-portrait from art school, an interesting technique of covering the paper/canvas with charcoal then rubbing out the drawing with an eraser. Below that is a photo of a retail space she spent about 18 months designing with her boss at Spin Design where she still works, including the design of custom furnishings. I am especially fond of the gold mesh chandelier "sheaths." It is the Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet’s newly opened flagship store on 57th Street in NYC. I think the least expensive watch they sell is about $10,000, so please do browse -- you might bump into Arnold Schwarzenegger or Meryl Streep, who are AP customers. I like the juxtaposition of Lesley’s bohemian art school self and the posh watch store.

Self, by Lesley

Audemars Piguet flagship store, designed by Spin Design (by Lesley and her boss)

14 Peter   My son. 

Like my mom, Peter is a remarkable musician (guitarist, arranger). But he is also an artist and amateur photographer. This painting is one he did in Advanced Placement Studio Art in high school, in the manner of Peter Max. The photograph below that is one he shot in Hilo, Hawaii. Peter continually inspires me with his photographs and also excels at videography. (The photo of Peter and me is from a few years ago.)

Purty Gerty, by Peter
Hilo puddle, by Peter

15 Me My self.

I can draw some, but I don’t apply discipline or practice, so just sketching something once or twice a year means I haven’t developed my skills. The sketches span decades: a young man in a magazine while I studied abroad, Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain a couple of years back, an imagined girl 20 years ago, and a drawing for a Christmas card around that same time. If this is not your first visit to this blog, you know I love to take photos. The first photograph below is probably a favorite of mine, shot early one morning in October 2006, when I went out on Horseshoe Lake where our family cottage is, in Lesley’s kayak, with my little point and shoot Olympus. I watched the moon set and the sun rise in that two hour float. If you look very closely, you can see geese on the water at the left. The next photo is the same lake, same morning, the sun rising in fog, just about 30 minutes later. It may look silent, but dozens of geese were honking (like vuvuzelas). It is a strange feeling to hear something so loud and close, that is invisible.

Sketches, by me

two photos of Horseshoe Lake
top: moon setting -- can you see the geese in the mist at the left near the horizon?
bottom: 30 minutes later, sunrise
by me

Well, that's it! Thank you very much for visiting my family gallery today. I know it was long. Bravo for getting down to here. You can put your audio guide thingie over there by the door before you leave. Now the sun is up, and I hope you found some visual pleasure in the comfort of your chair.

There is more artistic talent in my family, including Nelson who designs kitchens, Susan who plays piano like a goddess, Nancy who decorates houses that should be in magazines, Jim who has skilled craftsman hands, and their many children, and their children, who are fragrant with artistic talent as well.


Cusp said...

Well what a heritage and what talents stretching way, way back ! A lovely idea as always from you. What strikes me most is not just the talent or the beautiful and considered work but also the beauty of the souls who have created it. Thanks for sharing your family's treasures

Elisabeth said...

What a talented family. I loved everything you put on display here.

Are they competitive, you your siblings their children your children, or is there room for everyone to express themselves in their own unique way? I'm most impressed.

Not only are you all talented, you are all very pleasing to the eye. Thanks.

Susan said...

I am awed by the magnitude of talent in your family. Simply awed. And you didn't even show the sketches your dad did that are in the cottage. David and I finally figured out who the guy is with the cigar and now I've forgotten who we said...geez.

Your sketch art isn't too shabby either (quite lovely, actually). Imagine what you could do if you were disciplined and practiced a little more?

Do you suppose if your family adopted me that some of the magic would rub off on me? ;)

deb said...

um, I had a list of silly menial things to do before a certain time,
but I am going to pour a second coffee and would have gladly paid much more to view and savour this. What an honour... I've only glanced at the corn picture and info a bit, so thrilled. Had to tell you before I settle in.

Sharon Sunday said...

Ruth, I HART your blog. What a rich and beautiful life and heritage you have! Truly amazing. I am so glad you documented these things all in one place and that you shared them. In such a family each member must be inspired to explore his or her talents from earliest childhood. I am proud to count among my friends many REALLY interesting people whose accomplishments and experiences I admire greatly and only envy just a little now and then. I think of you as one of these friends and I am so proud to know you and share in your life through this blog.

deb said...

What to say Ruth.
Astounding. Truly.
Thank you for sharing and inspiring and weaving a little bit of your family magic into my soul. I always feel like there are some things we carry with us forever, certain experiences, and coming here is like that for me.
And then some. Because I hope in some way it will spill over in how I see and do.
Thank you.

Shari Sunday said...

btw, you didn't say anything about the opening photograh through the beautiful doorway. Is that Don outside with his books?

Gwei Mui said...

Such talent and what an amazing family you have

Anet said...

Ruth, truly amazing gifts in your family!
I love Grandma Elizabeth's corn painting. Such warm and cozy colors.

George said...

What a marvelous family of artists, as well as non-artists, Ruth. I enjoyed every moment of this posting, the photos and the commentary. I'm also interested in checking out your sister's blog. It looks quite interesting. Have a nice day.

Loring Wirbel said...

What a family! Those genes are so rich in imagery, they just burst (I get this image of a double helix unwinding and just bursting with colors and shapes).

Susan said...

Ruthie ~ By the time I got to Dad, I was weeping! You were truly inspired, in every photo/piece of art selected, in every word written, in EVERYthing!!

I learned some things I didn't know about Mom and Dad, and some of my sibs . . . I think it is high time that we have a family meeting ~ ~ for no other reason than to talk about events/things/memories that we all have about growing up, Mom and Dad, sibs, etc.

I definitely believe that you, being #8, learned so much more about our family than I was ever privy to, being #2. (and it makes me somewhat jealous ~ ~ in a GOOD way, of course!!

I love you, and I thank you for compiling this gallery for us to "walk thru" and enjoy to the fullest! It is invaluable, to say the VERY least! WOW!!

The Bug said...

Wow - what talent concentrated in one family! I have a cousin who's a potter - her brother builds houses, her mom sews (not JUST sews - more of a textile artis) & her dad draws. I never had that kind of talent (mom's older brother apparently hoarded it for his family), but Dr. M (Linthead) paints. He did a post yesterday showing some of his artwork.

Kate said...

Wonderful, Ruth. Thanks so much for sharing this.

VioletSky said...

I can see why you would want to create this gallery for yourself, but thank you for sharing it with us!
I imagine that you all nurture each other with your individual gifts and talents rather than being competitive (though friendly competition can spur on more creativity!)

Sandy said...

So many visual treats!! I absolutely adored this post and now trying to comment on each artist in the family, wow, impossible but Bennett comes to mind, John's Charcoal sketch...beautiful...darn many wonderful ones and I'm not going to go any farther commenting because I'm sure to leave some great ones out! And yours! Too cool. Loved this Ruth. Thanks for sharing all the artists in your family. Ohhhh and of course the Corn painting.

lesleyanne said...

Wonderful post, my mommy! I loved every word, every image, everything about it. I can tell you worked so hard, you've been working on this for weeks! What a wonderful documentation!

I love you.

Bonnie said...

Truly impressive how generations of your family have lived up to the many meanings of their name - Hart, Art, Heart - - What a wonderful contribution the Hart family has made to the world!

Ruth said...

Dear Cusp, you are an artist, so your visit means a lot to me. A couple of weeks ago it hit me, what a privilege it was to grow up with art all around, something I really hadn't consciously thought much about.

Ruth said...

Welcome, Elisabeth, your visit is quite pleasing as well! I can't think of a single time when competition came into play. It's interesting now, when several of us are into photography, and some doing it professionally on the side, we put our heads together over our cameras and learn as much as we can from each other. It is pretty grand to have those resources right in the family. I have to say, without any exaggeration, mine might be the most cooperative and collaborative family I've seen.

Ruth said...

Thank you, dear Susie. I thought you were already in the Hart clan?? It is hard to say what is innate and what is learned, when it comes to art. Don swears he has no skills, but he may just not have put time into practice. As you know, he sets up still lifes for me all the time, nonchalantly. So he has the eye.

So one of Dad's sketches was Will Rogers, was the other Walter Winchell? I just didn't get back to the cottage to take a picture once I thought of this post. They would have been an excellent addition.

Ruth said...

Dear Deb, how touching, the connection you feel here, with me. As I get older, I realize increasingly what wealth I have in my family, and I feel it more and more deeply too. If this is what aging is, I wouldn't mind more of it. To connect, just connect. Thank you so much for your soul magic.

Ruth said...

Sharon, my friend, your kindness and connection touch me too. A blog is a mysterious thing, to think that we can feel this closeness with people we may never meet in the flesh. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Ruth said...

Oh yes, Sharon, your question about the door. That is the entrance gate to Trinity College in Dublin, and you have a very good eye! Do you know that I even forgot that Don was standing in there? He is pulling a suitcase, for we were about to check into Housing. Staying at Trinity is almost as good as staying at Hogwarts.

Ruth said...

Gwei Mui, thank you. I didn't mention that Bennett acted in a few community plays, including Fiddler on the Roof. Can't you see him as one of the peasants?

Ruth said...

Thank you, Anet, yes, that corn painting warms me inside and out. To think that she laid on those paints, and it is in my house, and she and I may never have touched. But I have this at least, her warm touch in a visual message. You are rich with art and craft in your home, something I have always admired.

Ruth said...

George, thank you for your good visit, my artist friend. Every time I go to your blog there are visual treats waiting, in your paintings and photographs.

Ruth said...

Loring, I love that image! The connectedness with previous generations, and future ones. My great-nephew (is he 9, or 10?) in Alaska just got a camera and he's already capturing wonderful things in the frame.

Ruth said...

Dear sister Susan, you are such a sweethart. Well, we are at opposite ends of the family spectrum, and you know many things from the early days that I'll never know. But you are right, that I got to witness a lot in my life, watching the rest of you live out your lives while I watched. :)

Thank you for your incredible love and support, today, and always. I love you.

Ruth said...

Dana, what's up with some families? I really wonder if it's about exposure. Hmm. Mr. Linthead's painting in his header is so lovely, and his post with his paintings is lovely and poignant.

Art is a very good connector of us all.

Ruth said...

Kate, thank you for your kind visit.

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Violetski. As I mentioned earlier to Elisabeth, there has not been competition. Lately we have not been draw-ers or painters as much as photographers. But there has been much learning among us about this flash and that camera. There is a lot of open good will in this family.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Sandy. I am interested in what caught your artist eye. I think it's nice to know something about the artist too, to feel some of the emotion from their life, what drives them. Blogs are so great for this, and I love learning about you and your family. And I've loved sharing your beautiful art of our chicken folk here too.

Ruth said...

Wesrey, thank you, sweethowt. Yes, I've been asking for some of these images for a while now. It was nothing but fun . . . you know me. And I'm glad I could show you off.

I love you.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Bonnie, I'm so glad you think so. My life has been shaped by this, and I'm only starting to recognize it as the privilege it is.

freefalling said...

I don't think this is very fair.
One family, so much talent.
My family is flat out printing our names!

You know what I really love?
That little collection of turquoise pottery.

ds said...

Ruth your family is so amazingly gifted--why does that not surprise me? I love every piece that you showed, but am especially taken by your Grandma Elizabeth's corn painting: perhaps its glare, or my blurry vision, but it looks to me as though there is a woman in a cape passing behind the corn, as though bestowing fertile imaginations on all her progeny. She was prophetic. It worked!
The greatest talent is in the family itself, all your generations weaving together. Wonderful stuff...

Oliag said...

You are so fortunate to have such an abundance of gifted family members...and your family are so fortunate to have you caring enough to assemble this beautiful gallery.

It is obvious to me that creativity was encouraged and cherished in your family...I'm sure this is as important as the talent one is born with...

I absolutely adore your sunrise and moonset photos!

Margaret Bednar said...

...will you adopt me? Ha ha. What a wonderful and talented family! I added your sister to the blogs I follow - She has some AMAZING photography. You are a true artist - I have a feeling you make the people around you happy by just being YOU - and that is the best art of all! :)

Terresa said...

Amazing grace. You have some family blessed with artistic talent!

The silhouetted children at the lake brought tears to my eyes. My children are similar ages now, and no matter how many photos we take of them, I still feel them/time/childhood slipping through my fingers. Those photos capture that feeling so well, the mood, the everything...

What else? Oh, every thing in this entire post was, well, heart and art and everything in between. It is my favorite post on your blog yet.

PS: I have a friend who lives in Heber, UT, who is an artist and part of the Wasatch Back Artists. In case your niece, Rachel, is interested, here's the link:

Ruth said...

My dear Letty, I know. Sometimes Don and I sit and look at the next generation, our kids', and just shake our heads. I swear every one of them is gifted, I mean gifted, at something.

I'm glad you like my green pottery. I think it's my favorite collection too. The left, middle and far right/back were Grandma Olive's, so they're old. The mixed green/brown I got in Maine. Oh and the green pitcher second from left was given me by my sister Nancy's ex, it was old, and he used to have it on his boat he lived on. And the little graceful leafy brown I picked up at a shop somewhere that you and I should go shopping together at. Miss Famous Etsy Lady.

Ruth said...

DS, my friend, this is why you're important: you see layers no one else sees. Now I think the corn painting is perfect in the bedroom, a symbol of fertility. My days of it are gone, but as a symbol, I love it.

Thank you.

Ruth said...

Thank you, dear Oliag, and welcome back. To be very honest, creativity in my siblings and me was perhaps not fostered as much as it could have been. But it exploded in our kids' generation.

I'm glad you love my two favorite photos. I know you are moved by the same Nature scenes I am, and I can't wait to see more of Maine.

Ruth said...

Margaret, oh thank you. I love how you put that. While I'd be happy to adopt you (welcome), I don't think you need to be adopted by anyone, since you are already beautifully artistic.

And to you and to George (to whom I forgot to say it), I hope you will definitely follow my sister at her photoblog. Her photos inspire and touch her many followers. You will find a real treat.

Ruth said...

Dear Terresa, ahh, what a wonderful thing to know you enjoyed this and that it is your favorite. Thank you so much.

The passage of time when our kids grow up is so fleeting. These kids of my nieces' and nephews', whom I see just a few times a year, seem to grow inches between visits. I just melted when I saw these images of Lydia, Eli, Clara and Aden, and knowing you have four kids of similar ages, I can understand your emotional response. That makes me happy, Earth Mother.

Ruth said...

Oh, and thank you, Terresa, I passed on the Wasatch Back Artists info to Rachel.

rauf said...

Art flows in Hart blood. Ruth one thing is missing. i wonder if you could post one of Peter's song here. Or perhaps a piece of your dear mom's composition of Church music played by Shari or Susan.

it takes time to drink all the art exhibited here, i am familiar with most of them like Bootsie's Soul Girl, Mark's portrait of your loving family, Grandma Olive's illustrations and the arty cabinet. Of Course Bennett's portrait of Greek Orthodox priest, Lesley's interior designs. And we all are familiar with your artistic talent. i never knew Bennett had a month long exhibition in Lansing.

Like Letty girl says its too much to drink and my family consists of 9-5 people some in teaching absolutely no art at all. i am looking for some word higher than awesome Ruth.

You forgot to mention Don and Peter's work in Studio L'atlier. When there is such an abundance of talent in the family missing one or two is understandable. Peter's Hilo puddle looks like a painting, i had to look closely to see if its a painting.

This is an unforgettable post Ruth.

Stiggy said...

Hiya Ruth!

I don't know - somehow I thought you'd have a little more talent in your family! (joke!)

Great to see some family history there - very jealous!


Marcie said...

What a wonderful legacy of family history and talent. And - such a great idea to put them all together like this. Inspiring!!!

Ruth said...

Thank you, rauf.

Yes, yes, many things are missing. Nelson's kitchen designs, one of them for us two houses ago, so beautiful. You should see our new-almost-finished bathroom, with the same floor as l'atelier, again by Don and Peter. The music, yes. My mom, Susan, Shari, Shari's girls, Kristen, Jim, oh you wouldn't believe their beautiful vocals, rauf. Nancy, Susan and Ginnie used to sing trios in church, and my mom sang too. And Bennett, John and Jim had fine voices. Oh, John used to play guitar, just like Dylan and Harrison.

I'd like to create a YouTube of my mom's song that many churches sing on Mother's Day. I would like to get Shari or her mom Susan to record it, and maybe Emma, Shari's daughter, to sing it. And then put pictures of Mom with it. Don't you think that would be nice?

Well rauf, as for your family, it must be that all the talent dropped from the sky on you. Your landscape photographs, your portraits, backdrops, the graphics you design, are the finest in India, and no wonder people come from far and wide to learn from you.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Stiggy! But you know you shouldn't really be too jealous. You have Jo.

And chicks.

And your Nikon D40.

And a wonderful spirit.

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Marcie.

Now when you get inspired, look out. Day after day you are posting the most incredible photographs, I am continually stunned. No kidding.

Arti said...

Far from 'indulging' yourself... I must thank you for sharing your family treasures with us all, Ruth! Everyone of these art work is amazing. Your wonderful post just shows that artistic talent is really hereditary, it's in the blood and runs in the family. But then, with the nature comes the nurture.

BTW, I'm leaving tomorrow. Have left some hints for a 'Cryptic Challenge' on my blog. But of course you already know where I'm going... Let's see if others can guess :) But there might be a couple of the other places that I haven't told you... I'll be back in September. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Wow, talk about having Talent, being submerged by Talent and surrounded by Talent.. and appreciating it all...

This H-Art History was absolutely lovely... How wonderful your gatherings must be.. Such love you show...

Kate said...

Hi, Ruth. I tried the following thing only to find that everything is being linked to an old out of date blog.
The link in this comment should go to the right place: a Typepad blog... will fix soonest.

Babs-beetle said...

Certainly a whole host of wonderful talent in your family. Yet another area of similarity in our families :)

Ruth said...

Thank you for that, Arti, I know the post is BIG and overwhelming, so your gracious reception of it makes me feel great. I could talk a long time about artistic talent and the fostering of it, or not, in my family, but I will save it for another day. I'm happy to say that in our children, and my siblings' children, it has exploded.

I am terribly excited for you, going off on your two week holiday in two places I love (London and Paris), and the third, whether it's Amsterdam (love) or southern France (never been farther south than Vezeley), I wish you abundantly rich travels and delights. I look forward to hearing all about it when you return.

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Gwen. We are a family with foibles and hiccups. But there is so much love. It is a privilege and a luxury to have both love and art. I am learning to appreciate it more and more.

What you, John and Max have done on your mound of stone at the Bay of Fundy is what I can only describe as Art ProFUNDitY. I go into another place, transcendent, when I describe what you have done, what you do, and who you are to family or friends.

Ruth said...

Kate, OK, good to know. No worries for me, as I was already following you via a subscription at Google Reader.

Ruth said...

Babs, oh, I see! I know you are an artist. Now I want to know more.

Astrid said...

Dear Ruth, I did put my audio guide thingie over there by the door before I left. My ears and eyes are still ringing with all that fabulous information about a wonderful talented family, wow.....
You should feel very proud and LUCKY that you found all that information and thank you for this information, by reading your blog, step by step I am able to learn important things about my family.
One day soon I will share some information about my family.
Have a great day tomorrow, dear sister!

Peter said...

It's amazing to be surrounded by such amazing artists in the family. It really does make me think about how much is heredity and how much was nurtured in all of us from a young age. I suppose it's both, but a follow up post with questions about the artists childhood would be quite interesting!

Bella Rum said...

What an impressive family and what an abundance of talent. I thoroughly enjoyed this, Ruth. Thank you for sharing it with us. Bella

Ginnie said...

This all is beyond incredible to me, sister! Not only the information but the time and effort you clearly put into this piece. What a tribute for us all to savor. I'm humbled, of course, to be part of this legacy.

You'll laugh when I tell you that while we were at Sail 2010 in Amsterdam on Friday the wind blew off my Tilley hat and it landed on the top of a tourist boat as it was going beneath us under our bridge. It's prpobably now floating between the myriad boats on the Ij river, if someone hasn't grabbed it. But how approrpiate now that I see my Soul Girl. It was meant to be. I not once lamented the fact...though Astrid is still upset. It's totally replaceable, and that's the fun of it.

Thank you. Thank you. And Happy Birthday. This is your gift to YOU as well as to us. Thank you.

rauf said...

Happy Birthday Ruth. Hope the weather is fine for you and the family to enjoy the day.

RoSe said...

Wow, I am humbled and inspired by the diversity of talent, thank you for sharing all of this. And to all of you here and there I raise my glass in a toast to the gift and blessing of creativity!

Peter said...

Yes, the post was long, but I had no problem reading it to the end! I wondered what kind of similar post I could have tried to do about MY family. Don't worry, there will be no such post; I have very little comparable to show. I was especially impressed by Grandma Elizabeth! ... and when you find the time, you should definitely develop your own drawing gifts!

Jeanie said...

Good heavens! What an extraordinary amount of talent in your family. I have my favorites (which of course I will not say, because in a way, that would be wrong. Each is so different!). In fact, that's what I really appreciate -- each individual has their own art, their own way of seeing and transferring that vision to paper, be it through the lens or with paint. And I love that! I've often read of your family and always enjoy these rich, heartfelt posts. But this one resonates in a deeply personal way.

I think I could have looked at this even longer and I suspect I will return to it. (And might I add, I've always known your photos are wonderful, but your drawings are none too shabby, either! In fact, they're darned good!)

dutchbaby said...

I am speechless at the depth and breadth of your family's gifts. This beautifully-curated exhibit proves that a family's strength and
unconditional acceptance gives each permission to express their talents in an uninhibited fashion. I'm so glad I popped the five bucks for the audio guide thingie even though I look like a bit of a dweeb wearing it.

I adore Grandma Elizabeth's still life of corn. Unless it was shot in poor lighting and the colors of the photo are not true, the painting may benefit from a professional cleaning. I think you would be delighted with the vibrant colors underneath the yellowed varnish and it would be good to go for another one hundred years.

I've always adored the little sepia girl in the drop-waist blouson dress and I'm happy to know whose hand drew it.

I am a loyal fan of the Ginnie In Soul Fan Club and am glad to see the large version of the timeless drawing of Soul Girl.

I love the quiet soulfulness of Bennett's Greek Orthodox priest.

Yes, Paul's silhouette of Clara uncannily resembles Lesley's. I am inspired to try some silhouette photos of my own.

I dearly hope that Rachel will get her own studio because her Paris acrylic makes me want to dance like the stars in her sky.

I am crazy for the art deco chairs in the gloriously elegant room that Lesley and her boss designed. If I squint my eyes, I can see Nick and Nora share a martini while bantering in witty conversation. If Lesley ever wants a consulting job on the West Coast, I know a humble Palo Alto homeowner who would be overjoyed with the opportunity to hire her.

I love how Peter was able to channel Peter Max - could this become an album cover in the future?

You already know how I feel about your lake photos - sublime!

Here's my audio guide thingie; I think it needs new batteries.

Pat said...

WOW - we're talking talent, talent, and MORE talent! There's art in your blood from BOTH sides of your parent's family! No wonder your family is so artistic! This was such an interesting post! Thank you for sharing it!

Brendan said...

Wow - what a madly endowed family -- no wonder religion was set in the middle of it, somehow to anchor all the wild distaffs of emotion and expression. A truly, truly gifted family, unusual too because the expression leaps so freely from one to another. Great to find out that your girl-avatar came from an illustration by your grandmother. Thanks for sharing here the pic by Bennett, and no wonder his work struggles to stnnd out, amid so much abundance. I'm surprised that there seems little competition among the artists -- so much complementation instead. That is rare. In our family, there are writers, musicians, photographers, all mashed in the mix. My brothers (one dead) are/were most gifted in the image; my sister and I share the shout of words. Lots of drunks and sexual mayhemmers too in the bloodline - lots of art and bad heart. Wasn't it Emerson who said inspiration was a form of intoxication? -- "abandonment to the nature of things." Tzhat can be both blessing and a bane. Thanks so much for sharing all of this.

Brendan said...

Wow - what a madly endowed family -- no wonder religion was set in the middle of it, somehow to anchor all the wild distaffs of emotion and expression. A truly, truly gifted family, unusual too because the expression leaps so freely from one to another. Great to find out that your girl-avatar came from an illustration by your grandmother. Thanks for sharing here the pic by Bennett, and no wonder his work struggles to stnnd out, amid so much abundance. I'm surprised that there seems little competition among the artists -- so much complementation instead. That is rare. In our family, there are writers, musicians, photographers, all mashed in the mix. My brothers (one dead) are/were most gifted in the image; my sister and I share the shout of words. Lots of drunks and sexual mayhemmers too in the bloodline - lots of art and bad heart. Wasn't it Emerson who said inspiration was a form of intoxication? -- "abandonment to the nature of things." Tzhat can be both blessing and a bane. Thanks so much for sharing all of this.

"Auntie" sezzzzzz... said...

Feb. 12, 2012

Magnificent post...

It took me a long time, to find it. But the wait was worth it.