Brooke Gaar-Bever is the owner, creator of OtherPeoplesFamily! She collects found photos in antique shops, flea markets, etc. and turns them into black and white watercolor images and portraits. Her paintings are inspired by these photos, as well as people and places which interest her. She lives with a disability called hEDS and uses painting as a form of physical therapy.
Brooke lives in Taylor with her husband Nathan, and a pack of sweet senior dogs.
1. Why did you move to Taylor?
We moved to Taylor in 2013 because of our love of 100+ year old houses. Taylor had quite a few to choose from in our price range, so it was a good fit.
2. What compels you to spend time creating?
I’ve always had a love of museums and the visual arts. In college I studied art history and restoration and was classically trained as an art conservator. Due to a medical condition I can no longer perform art restoration, but I started to paint 5 years ago as a form of physical therapy. My inspiration comes from found photos, books, and film. My favorite recent series is of Appalachian serpent handlers.
3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.
In the past five years, I learned that family doesn’t have to be blood-related, it’s okay to take time for myself, and I don’t always have to be in control, (still working on this one!).
4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?
I read one book a week and have a different theme each month. My current topic is injustice within the criminal justice system. This week, I’m reading the autobiography Solitary by Albert Woodfox, who spent 40 years in solitary confinement.
5. Cake or Pie?
I really like cake, but I LOVE homemade vegan cherry pie!