This year’s family (13×19 inches) calendar was a study of the past 200 years in my family history. It is more research intensive than it is beautiful. The purpose of this piece is to place a family name to events in history. It is a personalized resource for my 25 home schooled nieces and nephews, as well as be a bouncing off place for the adults to research further. I concentrate heavily on the 1850s-1870s (pre through post Civil War) and the 1920s-40s (end of WWI, Depression, New Deal, up through WWII.)
I started out by creating silhouettes of my parents. Their silhouette goes on the page that corresponds with their family line being discussed. Elements include:
- Family tree
- A map of the state and county of birth when appropriate
- A box outlining historical events during the lives of the subjects
- Research text
- Any related photos to personalize
- 2017 head shots of kids in sepia
My main comment on this whole intense project – never again! But I am glad I did it.
Each page also features a 2017 photo of a niece and nephew in the lower right corner. The final page is an extra page with Jan 2019 to give myself a breather if I don’t get the new calendar done in time (like this year.) The oldest niece is on that page, which is not featured here.
This football helmeted tiger was for a high schooler whose team is the Tigers.
A first Christmas for a new little cousin and another for some cousins who just got married.
I first started painting these ornaments in the early 1980s. At that time my sister was very young and I copied a favorite artist (Karl Odenweller) for a gift for her. This past year, one of her own kids dropped it, so I recreated it for her, only with a slightly larger image. Second sister had the same thing happen. Hers was a Hallmark bunny that I placed in her little burrow. And no, I do not copy and sell these.
I do not know how I did those original images the size of a dime when I was younger and with no magnifier!
And speaking of magnification, I finally found a magnifying system that works for me now that I am wearing glasses. Getting older presents new challenges.
The above image was my favorite for this week. I was trying new things – this was my niece having a hard time of it when she found her daddy’s jeans hanging on the line. It is one of my favorite moments. Faces and emotions are not easy to capture. I vow to work this next year to do better with them.
I am pushing myself to try different styles – quick drawings, purposeful drawings, tiny lines, emotion on faces, events.
Following the prompts of Inktober has been great at stretching my creativity and I hope expanding my range (depth and breadth.)
I found a couple of old sawblades from 1984 when I was first starting out. I would sell a blade at a local consignment art shop and go buy supplies. These have been in the bottom of a box probably since 1988. A lifelong friend saw them and wanted them, so I cleaned them up today, fixing some scratches. It has me longing to paint again.