April 05, 2024

Creative Family History

By Laura Jane Bouton
Creative Family History

Chapter One

"Normally I don't like sharing things about me. I'm okay with sharing my jewelry creations, but I tend to shrink back when it comes to talking or sharing things about me. I know it is important that my customers know that there is a real person running my small business, but I get timid when it is time to share. So, I thought to make it a little easier, I would start with my family history.

When I think about my family, I am always amazed at how we're all creative in one way or another. Does the creativity pass down from generation to generation? Do you become creative just by watching or living in contact with creative family members? Nurture over Nature? Are you part of a creative family too?"

Willa Cather

"I guess one of the most famous creative person in my family is Willa Cather. She was an American writer known for her novels of life on the great plains "O Pioneers!", "The Song of the Lark" and "My Antonia". I will have to confess, I am the black sheep of the family who has not read her books. I know, I know, I should. It is definitely on my to-do list."

"However, I think my passion for creating started with my Grandfather, Bud Cather. When I see pictures of Willa and my grandfather, I am always amazed how much they are similar. He graduated from Art Center in Los Angeles and was a very talented painter and worked primarily in commercial art. 

When I was little, he would begin a drawing for me with just some lines or shapes, and I would have to finish it. It is one of the fondest memories I have of him. When I was older, we would take art classes together at the Silvermine Art Center in New Canaan where I grew up.

This was way back in the 70's and I am so glad the art center is still there. He obviously was in the more advance drawing and sketching classes while I tried to learn how to draw a fruit bowl.

What I am most grateful for is he taught me how to use every day tools; it is so important. I never liked waiting around for someone to help me with a project; I like to get things done.

Below are just a few of his paintings. Mostly, he would paint with a pallet knife, giving his paintings a rich texture affect. Maybe that is where my love for textures comes from?"



Portrait of my sister Tracy


"My Grandmother, Margaret, was an avid sewer and did amazing needle point. She had what I call natural creativity. She wasn't a famous artist but excelled at everything from cooking, home decor, and any craft she decided to pick up. She made the best home made fudge know to mankind too.

One of my favorite photos of her is below; she was in college, the University of Nebraska. She was an English major and graduated Magna Cum Laude.  She sewed her outfit. When I was twenty and in college I was definitely not sewing, mostly partying. How different the times were."

"Both my grandparents were creative in many different ways. They were avid about recycling. My grandmother discovered a neighbor was taking down his chicken coop. She knew it was mahogany, bought it from him, and took it home. Spent days cleaning, sanding, and staining it. My grandfather used the wood to panel part of the living room wall.

I lived with my grandparents when I was little while my father was in Vietnam. I have many fond memories there.  I wish I still had pictures of my grandparents' house; it was so wonderful. From Asian decor, painted table tops or walls with painted scenes, to old barn doors hanging on a wall.

The house was surrounded by woods where my sister and I spent many days exploring and eating our alphabet cereal in our tree fort by the horse barn-good times for sure. Being able to ride the horses also added an extra layer of fun. Of course, now at my age, you couldn't pay me to get back on a horse, but I am glad I have many memories of my wonderful adventurous childhood."


 I guess that is it for now, stay tuned for chapter two.....



  • Patty streber on April 17, 2024

    I love reading about your family history! Can’t wait to read on!

  • Beth on April 17, 2024

    What wonderful memories! How fortunate you were to be surrounded by such creative minds. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to Part 2.

  • Judy Gladney on April 17, 2024

    Hi Laura, I don’t know if you remember me, I am Paula’s friend for over 40 years now. Road horses together, I stopped because of injury and Paula still rides and always will….still great friends!
    I enjoyed chapter 1 of your Creative Family History so much! Paula talks a lot of your father so I knew he was very creative. As for Margaret, I loved her so much. I never met a woman like her who was loved and so sweet to everyone she met. I worked for her for a while and sure missed her when she passed away. Please send me all your chapters as your as interesting a writer as any Pro! Until the next chapter…….Love Judy

  • Penny Benjamin on April 17, 2024

    I loved the first chapter. It is interesting to know if any of our ancestors were creative. I believe I get whatever I have from my Grandmother.

    I did wonder where your last name Bouton came from. I have Bouton’s in my ancestry mostly from Connecticut.

    I do love your creations!
    Penny Benjamin Peterson

  • Paula Cather on April 17, 2024

    Such a wonderful summary of our family. Great photos of fond memories.
    Aunt Paula

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