It’s fascinating to see which traits show up, and where, on the family tree.  For instance, I have no artistic ability, despite having a grandmother who painted and drew beautifully.  One aunt, one uncle, and one brother inherited this gene.  And at least one son.  More on that in a minute.

When Grandma Lorene was a child of six, here is how her mother described her and her little brother, in a 1906 diary entry:  “Teddy and Lorene are at the clipping and pasting age and keep very busy at it.  The house sometimes looks frightful, but it is “clean dirt” and they are always willing to pick up their pieces.  Lorene is quite a little artist already and dearly loves to draw.  She makes very good people and is quite original.”

Here is a watercolor Lorene painted at age 11.  


Ian inherited the art gene, and today leaves for more college visits in New York City.  Like his great-grandmother, he was constantly drawing, from the time he could hold a crayon or pencil.  At age 9, he was suddenly inspired to draw his little brother.  “Hugh!  Stand still!” And he quickly produced this full portrait, which just perfectly captured a 6 year old Hugh, down to the rumpled jeans and untied shoe.  There’s something Picasso-esque about this, not to sound too much like a gushing parent.  Thank heavens Hugh wasn’t wearing a tacky TV cartoon sweatshirt at the time.

In my next life, I would like to be an artist.  For now, it’s exciting enough to watch Ian work on his portfolio and head off to visit art schools.  Grandma Lorene would be so proud.

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