Saturday, July 9, 2016

Family Stories

My grandma passed away in January.  It was the first winter in 64 years that Robert didn't have his Helen with him.  Afterwards, he cut out a portrait of them together and placed it in a toy model airplane so it looked like they were still flying together.  He hung the plane in his living room so they could keep the adventure going even though she was gone.

I got the chance to come home a few months after she passed.  While visiting my grandpa I saw this little living room fixture and thought it was the sweetest gesture of their infinity.  That's what inspired this collage series about my family.  It made me remember how much I love story telling and how there are so many stories within one family's history.   

The series is made up with actual memories from my family.  Each story is about 4 or 5 different layers of cut out images glued onto clear transparent paper.   They were later bound in a book so it looks like one big collage story like the opening photo in this post.  In my next post I'll show what it looks like layered together.

Right now I'm sharing the stories separate from each other and with a short written explanation of each.
 My Grandpa liked to fly.  My Grandma would yell for him to come down when dinner was ready.
They had a lot of adventure together.  One of those adventures was my mom - Emily.
My mom became a painter and met my dad.  Kurt - the cowboy.
They married young and moved to Nebraska to live the life of wranglers on a ranch.
The wrangler life was pretty lonely and filled with run down trailers so they moved back to Indiana.
They had five kids who created all sorts of adventures.
One of them passed away and we all cried for a long time afterwards.
But he saved my life when I was 2 so that's why I'm here writing.
All of these memories - the good and the bad - make up who I am and the bigger story of my family.   What are your memories?
More to come


  1. What a perfect way to tell your story. Looking forward to hearing more.

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  2. I so love your stories. This is so charming.

  3. Wow! Your work is beautiful and such a perfect way to keep the stories alive. Thank you for sharing!

  4. This is beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your collages. I lost my dad recently and am looking to start writing my stories down. I also love collage so this would be a great thing to do also. Thank you!

  5. I like it. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Dear Esther,

    Deepest condolences.
    But you are so great, you can expressed it into art. :)

  7. I found your blog only recently, and this post just blew me away. What a beautiful way to tell a story. It's inspiring me to find a way to use this with my students!

  8. Esther, this series is so stunningly done and truly powerful. Thank you so much for sharing your light with us, it is much appreciated. Also, I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother, I'm sending lots of love and good vibes your way <3