I cannot think of my father without thinking about art. He may not have been a world famous artist, but he was a damn good painter. He demonstrated his talent at a young age and worked on honing it through numerous classes at the art museum and more. Before I was born, he spent a lot of time with a paintbrush in his hands. Most of his pictures were landscapes, primarily featuring trees. He also spent a lot of time creating abstract paintings, filled with color. I grew up with his artwork hanging on the walls of our home, in my own personal museum. My sister and I each also had his artwork hanging in our bedrooms. When I was in college, I had to write a paper on a painting that moved me. I chose one of his.
My father used his art to woo my mother. He hated even numbers and symmetrical shapes, but used symmetry to create an abstract painting for her. It was blue, which was their shared favorite color. She would get all sentimental every time she looked at it. It now hangs in her room at the nursing home. It has an air of familiarity for her, even if she doesn't really remember him anymore.
This rainbow abstract painting is one that always hung in my parents' living room. A close family friend admired it for years and kept offering him money for it. My father was not good at giving up his paintings. I think they were truly a part of him. After he died, we sent it to her as a gift. This is a picture of it in its new home. Look at how the ball also reflects its colors.
Dad always told us that he never painted people. He didn't think he was any good at it. But when we were cleaning out the storage unit after he passed away, we came upon this treasure:
I know I am prejudiced, but I think this is pretty damn good! The worst thing was that it had gotten wet somehow. Soon after I took this picture, the bottom started to buckle and crumble. There was no way to save it and it has now ended up in a landfill somewhere. The thought of that makes me ill, but what else could we do?
Other works are either on display or being stored at various people's homes all over. Now members of his family finally have pieces of his work. I think that would make him happy. I am still working on collecting photos of all of them.
I know that I will never have the same kind of talent that my father did. And I am okay with that. But I always think of him whenever I see one of his works, or when I am showing my students how to use a paintbrush.