The Artist Inside All of Us

I don’t blog too much about my family but every once in a while a few photos come to life that just beg to be shown the light of day.

As a photographer it’s sometimes an odd thing to see photos of my family, people I know so well inside and out right before my eyes on my screen. I have taken thousands upon thousands of photos and probably about 80% of them have been of people I only get the opportunity to know for a brief time. So I look at those photos with a trained eye, noticing light, composition, color, texture and of course emotion and life…. but I still make sure to look at it from a professional perspective….after all, I have mouths to feed. But when I look at photos of my family I only see those that I’ve laughed with, fought with, cried alongside, hugged, been angry with and felt every range of emotion you possibly can. I love it.

My mom has collected thousands of photographs over the course of her life and the lives of her children. They are not neatly set within the confines of albums; they are all in a gigantic tub: one, two, three, four, five, even six generations rubbing against each other. It’s been a very long time but I can remember from time to time while growing up going thru them and giggling at my brother’s experimental perm from the 80’s (oh Sam…I still can’t believe mom did that to you) and laughing heartily while regarding my other brother, Jody, rockin’ the 1970-style trends (lovin’ those tube socks pulled up to the knees with the shorts and shirt with the giant lapels….rock on sir, rock on). Memories. Moments. Snatches of time. Makes me feel 10 years old again.

Remembering those photos and looking at the ones below I see how far in life we have each come, how much we’ve grown and how gray we’ve all gotten (and I say that with love).

My brother Sam has an awesome little man-den he built for himself to support his wood-working addiction. That’s the thing with men that wear camo and live in the woods; they always have a lot of land and a space all their own. My other brother, Jody, has his man-cave too….the walls showing his most honored achievements as a State Trooper and his desk holding all the digital stuff relevant to his now P.I. life.

But this day they took my city-slicker husband out to Sam’s man-cave so that Jody and Sam, and even my nephew Casey, could work on something together. And I am thrilled that John decided to pick up a camera and take the opportunity to capture both of my brothers at work. It reminds me that all of us are artists inside. From these photos I see the hands of my brothers working delicately to make wood come to life; to shape it, mold it and to take what was from the earth and turn it into something else.

I had a blast looking thru these photos and I loved that I could instantly recognize who the photo was of just by seeing their hands. I have seen Sam take planks of wood and make the most awesome armoire or table and even the most stunning jewelry box any wife would be giddy over. And I have seen my brother Jody take a cow horn and masterfully turn it into a beautiful powder horn engraved with sketches and handwritten words. Yet neither of them would consider themselves an artist. I beg to differ.

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