Okay, I’m a day late in my update, there were lots of confounding variables yesterday that prevented me from sticking with my Monday update schedule. Hopefully I’ll be consistent in the future, but I’m sure I’ll slip up here and there, because life and stuff.
Anywhat, I still have some old art to go through and edit to add to the gallery, but, since I’ve missed some studio time recently due to a computer rebuild (courtesy of my lovely and talented wife/tech department, I couldn’t function in the “modern age” without her) and a side project of a more personal nature (which was still making art and studio time, but not something that will wind up in the gallery), I’m going to spend my studio time this week trying to produce new things rather than edit the old. Depending on how productive I manage to be will determine if I get to some more old art to upload by the end of the week. As I keep mentioning, I have lots of little things going on right now creatively, which is awesome, but sometimes I feel spread a tad thin. However, I did, just this morning, get confirmation of something exciting that should be arriving in a few days. When it gets here, I’ll share. Hopefully it will be the start of something good.
So, without any new/old art to post today, I thought I’d try out a new semi-regular “filler” topic I’m currently calling Studio Stuff. Like most creative types, I have a bunch of “stuff” cluttering my studio. I’m not a big fan of clutter, so I probably have less than many, but I still have “stuff”. Some of it is toys, a lot of it is books, some of it is random, but all of it has a reason for being here. It has some kind of story, importance, usefulness, or some sentimental value. I thought it might be of interest to share what some of these things are and why I have them. On to the first installment!
You may have noticed that picture at the start of this post, the thing that looks kind of like a UFO? It’s actually a lamp (“nooo, you don’t say?”). A lamp with a big magnifying lens in the center, actually. It once belonged to my maternal grandfather, whom the family lovingly calls “pepere” (that side of the family is heavily French Canadian). He was an amazing individual (I know, I’m biased). A WWII vet, he built his own house and was a fixer of things big and small, in addition to being a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and even a great grandfather before his passing. This lamp sat down in his basement workshop and was used for innumerable projects over the decades. When I was little, I used to think this was the coolest lamp, I had never seen another one like it (still haven’t, actually). It was heavy and rugged, it had this awesome magnifying glass in it, and it had a circular light bulb! In his later years, after a few strokes, he was no longer able to get down to his workshop and play Mr. Fixit any longer, so he let those of us in the family with the need and desire to rummage through his vast collection of tools and odds and ends for anything we could use ourselves. This was one of several items I was lucky enough to take home. It now sits clamped to my desk, mostly used as a source of light. I have little need for its cool magnifying lens given that I work digitally, but I do use that function every now and again to get a closer look at something I’m trying to fix. I did use it some back in 2006 when I was drawing up plans for an addition to our home. Otherwise, I tend to do things like, well, this…
You might notice the wear on the lamp from this angle, the globs of paint, the sawdust. I didn’t cause any of those, they came from my pepere. I could clean it, but I kind of like the fact that there are a few remnants of his workmanship still clinging to this old lamp. He was a quiet man, but very proud of all of us. By the time I had my own home and had started to become something of a “do it yourselfer”, largely inspired by him and the story of him learning how to build his own house (that my memere and aunt still live in today), and I felt I had something I could sit and talk to him about, to learn from his knowledge and experience, he had already had several strokes and was almost unable to communicate. That’s something I will always regret. However, I do have lots of wonderful memories of him, including working with him to draw and paint snowman and Mickey Mouse wooden signs for my mom and aunts as well as his helping me build a dunk tank for my Eagle Project. I own and use some of his tools when I’m working on the house but this lamp is by my side in the studio every day, reminding me of simpler times and the amazing family I was born into.
I loved this post. As you know, I’m fascinated by creative people’s workspaces. Pepere’s lamp is also a metaphor for what you do. He was a craftsperson, so are you. He fixed and built things with wood, etc, you use pens, brushes, and colors. Great post. Looking forward to more studio fun.
Thanks. One of the fun things about doing this post was realizing just how significant this lamp was to me. It was one of the first things I grabbed from his shop, and I attached it to my desk as soon as I got it back home. It’s been here for years now, through multiple studio reorganizations and renovations. I obviously recognized it was important to me, but it was good to stop and think about it and put it into words. I’m looking around and realizing I have a loooooooot of stuff for future installments…
Awww….made me cry. So glad you have this lamp with you now. Pepere would be very proud of all your accomplishments.
Yeah, made mom cry too…
[…] That is my late grandfather, my mother’s father, whom we kids all called pepere (mom’s side of the family is basically all French Canadian). Yes, for those of you with great memories (or nothing else to remember), the same pepere of the lamp. […]