When Tammy and I started our lives together, we were like so many other young couples who had gone to college. Our wall art consisted of college posters and maybe a family photo or two. Our chairs were passed on to us from family and we had three woks, because that was the hot item to give a couple at their wedding at the time.
Our first bookshelves were hand made... by us... with a hammer, a handsaw and a little sandpaper. The wood was some slightly bowed pine and we had a box of nails. Let's just say it wasn't fine furniture once we had completed the task. We had to put one in the corner and the other next to an old desk so they wouldn't fall over.
Oddly enough, we still have these shelves - improved over time with some backing to shore it up and a bit more sanding, staining and varnish. They have moved with us each and every time we relocated. Considering how they started and how many times we moved - it is amazing that they still exist and are still used.
Another thing that was a fairly big deal at the time were these "buy a poster and frame it yourself" shops that were popping up all over the place. It was actually pretty enjoyable to go look at the various inexpensive prints and learn what attracted our eyes. Hey! You could buy a poster of one of the popular works by Dali, Escher or Monet and pretend you were sophisticated. Spend a little more for one of those cheap "do-it-yourself" metal frames and get them to mount the poster on a foam core and you had yourself some honest to goodness art!
We're all 'grown up' now and we still have some of those poster prints by Hans Werner Sahm hanging on our walls. Bigger than life nature scenes with that touch of humanity to ground you and put you in the frame with an impossible cliff or a dual sunset.
I sometimes wonder what the original artwork looked like compared to the less than $10 posters we picked up years ago. If I saw one, would it capture my imagination more than these posters do? If so, that would be saying something.
These posters encouraged me to look for real life examples that were expressed in exaggerated form. Like an overhanging cliff near the garage.
Or a 'double sunset.'
Over time, we had the opportunity to find places that were every bit as majestic as the scenes depicted by Has Werner Sahm - and maybe just as surreal. And we had the opportunity to try and capture them as well as we could - as only an amateur can. But, the combination of the picture with the memory of the experience are enough to transport us back to see, hear and feel it all again.
While I am not the artist Sahm is... I can still appreciate beauty. From morning...
And I encourage each of you to take a moment and look for that beauty before you really get into your day. Or, if it is too late for that, take a moment and balance out the stress of a job or the worries of current events - just a little.
There is a reason I care and a reason you care - about everything - we care because there is beauty and good things in this world to experience.