I am assuming, probably incorrectly, that you have seen enough of my art work to come to the conclusion that I am a bit of an artist. Amateur, of course. You have to make money at it to be professional. I used a great deal of my artistic abilities in the classroom as a teacher, and while you come eventually to an appreciation for that small sacrifice, you can’t really call that making money at it. And I am good enough at drawing to know where the mistakes are… the flubs and the flaws and the not-so-happy little accidents (I truly appreciate the genius of Bob Ross, and I know I am not Picasso or Da Vinci… but I can draw better than he ever could.) I know my artistic junk is kitschy junk in so many, many ways. But I believe that some of the best art is homely art… the art you keep in your house… not gallery quality, but irreplaceable to you yourself. And the point of this article (dreamed up while spending some alone time in my octagenarian mother’s house due to illness) is that I got my love of homely art from my mother’s house, the house I grew up in.
These two goofy dinos are an example of what I am talking about. These two revered family art objects were bought as greenware porcelain from a mold at an Austin pottery-art store. Mother fired them in her kiln. I painted them in acrylic. They are now living happy lives in my Mother’s dining room. Oh, and they are made to be displayed together like this;
Most of mother’s art gallery-like house is filled with items just like this. No value to the history of art. Not museum quality. No more important than any other item of homemade functions-more-as-a-token-of-love-for-the-person-who-gave-it artwork.
Let me show you more of the many wonderful grandma-treasures that fill my mother’s house.
This was our Grandma Beyer’s glass doo-dad cabinet that for many years held sacred glass gewgaws and thingamajigs from the the thirties and forties. Mom inherited it and put all new grandma-treasures in it.
The cabinet holds all manner of precious vacation souvenirs, graduation photos of my sisters and brother and I, weird animal salt-and-pepper shakers, candle holders, souvenir plates, Precious Moments figurines, Hummels, pictures of long-gone relatives, and a variety of other things that each has a story behind it, a long and lovely story of years and tears and fears and more years. It is a cabinet full of memories and celebrations. Collectibles and corny joke items. There is no price that ever could be put on it, and one day it will all be given away.
Mom has collections of stuff everywhere. Christmas stuff, Thanksgiving stuff, and stuff on display just because Mom likes it sort of stuff. Much of it is antique simply because the people are old and have kept this stuff long enough to make it antique. It is displayed in every available nook and cranny and corner of the house.
And, of course, what every visitor to Mom’s house most wants to see are the dolls.
She was a very talented porcelain doll maker.
The art that is most important of all in my mother’s house, though, are her greatest and most valuable creations. That would be US.