Benny Gettinger: Photo-Graphic Artist

Posts tagged “Gettinger

The Patriarch

Paul A. Gettinger

My Grandpa, Paul A. Gettinger

Grandpa & Rocky the dog

Grandpa & Rocky

Ever since I found my love of photography, I’ve wanted to create some portraits of my Grandpa. For myself and many others this farmer & preacher has been the living symbol of unconditional love and inspired wisdom. I find myself painfully inadequate to write about him – my words could never do justice (you’ll just have to meet him yourself). Of his character, I’ll simply say this: perpetually compassionate, ever faithful, a teacher, a worker, a pacifist, an optimist.

I’m sure everybody idolizes their grandparents to a certain extent, especially when they’re young, but there’s something special when you come to admire someone exponentially the older you get.


The Mark of the Potter

When I start a project or do a photo shoot, I am always so anxious to get to the point of final presentation.  I just can’t wait to take whatever I’m working on and hold it up to the world and say “Check this out!”  I figured everybody was this way, but I see something different in my Dad.

Steve Gettinger

Steve Gettinger

Dad’s creative expression is pottery.  He started doing it while he was in college, and he has picked it back up here in the past decade.  His purpose isn’t to have a finished work of art, but to have the experience of making it.  I think he gets most enjoyment out of starting with a formless lump of clay, turning it on a wheel and creating a form out of nothing.  For a pastor (or any Christian), the metaphor goes so deep – from the beliefs of creationism, to the idea of the guiding hand of a loving God molding us into the people we should be.  I think for Dad, spinning a pot is one way that he meditates – like a personal devotion time.

Dad’s pots, jars, mugs, etc have wonderful shape and texture, but when you look closely you may see some rough edges.  I used to think, “Why doesn’t he smooth those bumps out?” but now, that added character is part of why I love his work.  And doesn’t that make the metaphor complete – slightly flawed; with the fingerprint of the Creator?

I once suggested to him that he try to sell some of his pots and make a nice little profit (his house is FULL of these pots, and he gives them away like candy).  But he shrugged it off and said, “Nah… I just like making them.”  I guess if he started to sell them, it would change his purpose.

Clay Pot by Steve Gettinger

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)