Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Stills: Hands

Once again I wondered how I would meet Ed's latest photography challenge. Then I concluded I would photograph the hands that raised and nurtured me.

My mother always had lovely, slender fingers. Arthritis has taken its toll, but it hasn't kept her away from the sewing machine.
My mother began sewing when she was around 11. Like most girls, she started with doll clothes. She evolved into a textiles artist -- sewing all of her own clothing, including tailoring suits and coats. She sewed my school clothes, fulfilling my desires and whimsies -- even if it meant combining two or more patterns to create the style envisioned.
She still sews for me. The white eyelet lace she is working with will become a "jean jacket" style summer-weight jacket. Sewn with love.

My father passed away in 2001 so I couldn't photograph his hands. I did the next best thing and snapped pictures of hands he painted.
My father always had a talent for drawing. He learned to play the trombone while in high school and eventually became a professional musician like his father (my grandfather). He was a member of a popular local big band before World War II, and fought in the Pacific Theater with the Forty-First Infantry Division Bands (they carried rifles and made landings between USO shows). After the war my father went to college on the GI Bill and got a degree in Commercial Art. He married, got a "regular job," played music jobs in the evenings and weekends, and even continued to paint and draw.
These two paintings are from a series he did (in gouache, I believe) where he timed himself. They are deliberately painterly, based from photographs from a "coffee table book" history of jazz. As a musician and particularly talented jazz trombonist, I think he had a special feel for the subject.

To see how others met the challenge, visit Sunday Stills.


Beth said...

I love your mom's hands. Look like they have done a great many thing in their time. Just beautiful.

Your father was very talented.

This was a very touching post. Thanks for sharing.

dibear said...

Gosh, I sure liked your choices. Made me think of my grandmother's hands. :) I have arthritis in my hands, and I love to paint, sure hope it doesn't slow me down.

Ed said...

Well done..:-)

CTG Ponies said...

Great post and a lovely tribute to your parents.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Excellent! Your Mothers hands are lovely..they are showcased so nicely against the white eyelet..:)