Treasuring Our Influences

Over time, you’ll learn more and more about Tara and I. The specifics of our passions and skills will be revealed. And these passions and skills didn’t evolve out of thin air. We’ve been influenced throughout our lives, and these influences originated long before either of us was even born.

For me, my love of art and creation is something I’ve always cherished having in common with both of my grandmothers. I grew up living closer to my Grandma K, who is a very talented artist. Since I have been lucky to live near her most of my life and to see her quite often, I have many memories of watching her draw (usually with ease using only a simple no. 2 pencil), and asking her to teach me. She would draw anything I asked her to, and taught me as much as she could, as she learned I had a love for drawing as well. I have vivid memories of sitting in our family cabin in northern Wisconsin, or at her ranch in southern Wisconsin, staring out the window, and observing as she drew what we were looking at… Up north we usually saw: Glistening water, birch trees, blue skies, and loons swimming. At her house, we saw: birds on the feeders, big trees, hills, the pond, and the barn. She has given me some of her drawings over the years, and they will always be some of my most treasured possessions. They vary from the aforementioned nature scenes, to cartoons with puns and riddles, and even some fashion sketches. Her sketches have always been very inspiring for me. In my eyes, it is an admirable example of a free spirit expressing itself through art. She really explores, challenges herself, and enjoys the beauty behind her talent!

This is a grouping of some of my favorite sketches of Grandma K’s.

My Grandma Bev lived farther away, and I wasn’t able to see her in person as often, but she never let that stand in the way of being a big part of my and my siblings’ lives. She was also very talented with art in many forms of media. She dabbled in everything from pottery and mosaics, to painting, and even weaving and stitchery. She also, at one time, owned her own shop in California called Eclectic Klasse, focusing on her love of ethnic arts. Her keen eye for artistic expression, interior design and decor was one of the first career influences that I can remember, and it’s more influential to me now than I could have ever imagined it would be. Some of her jewelry (particularly her turquoise) and decorative items are also among my most treasured possessions.

My Grandma Bev in her shop in CA

Our roots are something Tara and I keep in check with on a regular basis. The footsteps our grandparents left for us to follow are deep ones, and we are honored to be the ones following them. We hope to someday pass these gifts on to the next generation as well, in ways that will be just as meaningful.

Keep the old, friends!

Have a good week, fellow Junkers!


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