Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Artistic Gene

My aunt was a wonderful artist.  She painted, she drew and everybody's house is filled with her artwork.  One uncle also created great "monsters" that we all love and after his death, everyone took one or more to have.  My father was a musician.  He may have worked for the post office his whole life, but his love was music and the only times I remember him "happy" are when he was either listening to his vast collection of jazz records, or sitting at the piano playing.  I am told that his mother was a good piano player, but gave it up and in all the years I knew her I had no idea of how good she had been in her younger years.  His father was an Irish tenor in vaudeville. All of those genes passed me by, but filtered through me to my children.  All five of them were musical.  Jeri has made a career out of it, but all the boys played guitar.  Ned still sits in with other bands and sometimes performs in public, either on guitar or drum, or both.  He was the drummer for Lawsuit. 

Tom doesn't perform in public, but he can play his guitar.  Dave played guitar too, and Paul was lead singer of Lawsuit and played guitar.

Before she got her degree in music at Berklee College of Music and then joined their faculty, where she has  taught for more than 10 years, Jeri was a theater major and got her masters degree in Theater Design.

While she was here this past week, she cleaned the last of her "stuff" out of the house, mailed a lot to Boston, and threw away lots and lots of her work from college years.  There were two set designs, for example, which are incredibly intricate and which Alice Nan insisted she had to keep, though she had no room for them, so left them here, with instructions to us to throw them away if we wanted to.

Sadly, I can't remember which shows these were for, but Walt particularly liked the top one because the back of it is a map of Ireland. They are both so incredibly intricate that I, with my two left thumbs am amazed that a child of mine can create something like this.

Then there are the costume designs, which she tossed in the garbage and I insisted she take out so I could at least take pictures of them.  These two, for example, from Midsummer Night's Dream:

Puck and Francis P. Flute

She has always drawn great cartoon-y figures and I love how these look.  You can't see it, but the sign pointing to Puck's flower says "squirt flower."  Obviously this was a modern day production.  Sadly, my favorite from the Midsummer collection somehow disappeared, but it was beautiful. 

Then there are these from The Cherry Orchard

And these from Another Part of the Forest

These are the sorts of things that you hate to throw away but really....what is the point of keeping them when you are trying to downsize.  I have now photographed them all, and I guess I'll have to do what Jeri tried to do -- throw them away.  Sadly.

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