I came across this image on Pinterest the other day…
and it reminded me so much of a place I spent a lot of time as a child.
That’s me, with my great aunt Hanlo.
Another shot of the family. My late cousin Susi on the left, my great uncle Henning, and my mom on the right with the curly (permed) hair. That painting in the background was by Otto Weil, Hanlo’s father, a portrait of Hanlo when she was very young. I have my own Otto Weil oil painting in my apartment.
Aunt Hanlo and Uncle Henning’s house was full of wooden sculptures, prints, and oil paintings done by family and friends.
My mom’s house:
These sketches and wooden bust were done by my great grandfather, York Fischer. I have a painting of his, of a dancing girl. It was passed down to me by my own grandfather, also named York Fischer, whose home is also full of art created by loved ones.
It’s hard not to be heavily influenced by this. And I decided to hand-make all my Christmas gifts this year. I’m really not an artist, just a dabbler. The same goes for music, singing, dancing, etc. I often boast that my greatest talent is “being mediocre at everything.”*
Nonetheless, I have been trying my hand at oil painting, praying that some tiny part of my artsy lineage would come through… I’m not quite ready to share that adventure with the world, yet. I did, however, have a back-up plan, using medium I know very well. The internet.
I made a Tumblr for my mom, armed with a scanner and a shoebox of old pictures and ephemera belonging to her late mother, Violet. My Nana.
I scanned in about 40 photos so far, and I’ll keep adding to it. My mom is excited to add her own thoughts and captions.
And I made one for my dad, too. I scanned in wedding announcements and old love letters sent back and forth between his mom and dad during WWII. The letters are rice paper-thin and full of emotion.
This post was inspired by Think Kit 2011.
* My mom disagrees.