Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue acrylic tree

This is a painting that we had found in the storage unit. It has a small note on it that says "Acrylic $12." I believe this one was a part of the collection that he displayed the year that he was in the Black Swamp Arts Festival in Bowling Green, Ohio. He was sad that not as many people were interested in buying paintings anymore, yet proud to be participating. He had done arts and crafts fairs back in the 1970s. He enjoyed displaying his work. Even more he loved the social aspect of the experience.

This one makes me cold, simply because it elicits the feeling of an ice cold winter's day. It captures the cold weather and the peaceful ambiance that winter can bring. He didn't do many winter pictures, because they didn't allow for as much color. I am also wondering if this was perhaps inspired by an art class activity in which we had to paint monochromatically.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mountain with a road

This is a painting that we discovered in Dad's storage unit. I had never seen it before, but was completely entranced by the beauty of the mountain. The colors are so vibrant, that this picture doesn't even do it justice. He didn't do a lot with mountains and we lived in one of the flatest places in the United States. This one makes me dream of visiting some, though.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dad's Primary Still Life

Another type of painting my father enjoyed doing was still life. Some of them were quite realistic. Others were more contrived in his own mind. He was always creative in the colors that he used, blending imaginative color schemes with reality. This one consists mainly of primary colors. I can't remember where this one ended up. It's another poor shot from last year.

I remember this one hanging up in our house while I was growing up, also.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dad's Trees

My father adored trees and forests. I wonder if I get part of my love of walking in the woods from being exposed to all of his paintings of trees while I was growing up. This is another poor shot of a painting that I took last year in a hurry. It hung in my parents' bedroom.

My father is the one who taught me that grass is more than just green. I love to use that concept in teaching my students, even if they are under the age of 6.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dad's Red Tree

Dad loved to paint trees. He also loved the color red. This is another poor shot of my father's red tree. I remember this one hanging in our living room while I was growing up, along a narrow wall.

It reminds me of how Van Gogh always exaggerated the height of his trees...

My cousin has it now. She was kind enough to send me a cool evening shot of it hanging on her wall:

Comparing these two just demonstrates the effect of lighting on a painting and in a photograph...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dad's Fire Bush

When we were cleaning out my parents' house and storage units after Dad passed away, we decided to divvy up his paintings. Finally, we could all have a piece of his beautiful art. He never wanted to give any of it up, because they were parts of him. I wish I would have taken better photographs of some of them. This is a really bad angle on one that I dubbed Dad's Fire Bush. He never titled his paintings, so we just describe them. I had taken this one to give my cousin an idea of what was available, so that she could have some of "Uncle Rick's" art, as well.

I do believe this one hung in their home for many years. It's simple, yet interesting.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

GBE 2: A Snapshot of My Father and Art

The past week, I went back home to the Toledo, Ohio area for the first time in 14 months. It is never a cheap trip. I can't bring my dog with me, and it is difficult for me to find someone to watch him. I also just wasn't sure if I could handle that emotional journey. My mother is slipping deeper and deeper into her Alzheimer's. Dad's grave finally has a stone. They have redone the whole family plot. I knew that seeing his name and dates carved in stone would bring a finality that needed to be acknowledged but was hard to finally see.

I took along my "companion," for lack of a better descriptive word. He has a station wagon that would more easily fit my father's paintings than my small Corolla. I needed to bring back his paintings. My friend has graciously given up storage space in her shed for over a year. They shouldn't be sitting in a shed, anyway. And I needed to bring a part of him home to be with me. Dad hated to give up his paintings, as they were like his children. When he died, though, we divvied up a lot of them, so that we could all have a piece of Dad. I brought back 20 on this trip and still have dozens more to come. My sister also has tons of them with her.

When I saw this prompt in the group for last week, I could only think of the Toledo Art Museum. It is my happy place and was also one of Dad's.

This is a picture of the museum at night. I always smile when I see it. The architecture is amazing. The collection inside is phenomenal. Every style and time period is represented, with constantly changing exhibits. Many are static, though. We all have our favorites. I know where to find all of mine, and my father's.

On this particular night, my father and I decided to have a Daddy-Daughter date. We went up on a Friday night to walk the museum. He didn't go much after I moved away, because it was so difficult for him to maneuver. When we were there, he remembered that Friday nights were concert nights. Tickets were expensive, but he splurged on two tickets to the Brahms concert being performed that night in the Peristyle by the Toledo Symphony. We ate a meal in the museum cafe. I relaxed with a glass of wine. On our way in, I literally ran into my childhood pastor and his wife, who are pushing 90. We got to reconnect with them.

Sitting through that concert, my father had a peaceful look of contentment on his face. I was moved to tears, both from the beauty of the music and the happiness of spending this time with my father. He was stressed about Mom and exhausted. But for a few hours, he could relax. Somehow, deep within, I also knew at the time that it would probably be one of our last events together. His health had been rapidly deteriorating for quite some time.

After visiting my father's grave for the first time since he died, I took The Man with me to the art museum so that he could see it. It was like revisiting a part of me that I had forgotten. We didn't have much time to soak it all in, but I managed to see a lot of my old friends again. I could even feel my dad's spirit walking with us.

Over the next several days, in his honor, I am going to be sharing with you some of my father's own works of art. Please feel free to share them and to comment. I hope you enjoy them. Look for the tag "Dad's Paintings." Thanks for visiting.