Since this is my first blog post I thought I would start with something personal about me and my art. Recently I was asked what artist has influenced me the most in my life. I have never really thought about this but when I did I realized that it would have to be my Dad. He was not famous but he loved to paint. Most of his paintings were given away to pay for things that our family needed. When my brother broke his leg, the doctor was paid with a painting. I remember going to his office as a child and being very proud that my Dad’s painting was hanging there.
Working mostly in pastels and oils, he did incredible landscapes (gee..Wonder why I love landscapes...) He was 52 when I was born and I would get so angry when all of the kids at school called him my grandfather. He used to take me to the closest woods and we would spend hours looking at trees and plants. He especially liked orange milkweed and we would dig it up and take it home to plant in the yard. I remember sitting at the kitchen table and watching him paint. I even remember when he showed me how to draw a tree ...I still do really good trees :).
He was always telling me to look at the sky, birds, plants, trees and all of the beautiful things around me. I still get teased by my family for always talking about how beautiful everything is. I am following his lead and am constantly telling my 5 yr old granddaughter to look at the beautiful things around us. I think only about eight paintings are still in the family, I have two plus his sketch book.
He was a barber by trade and had to retire at 60 because he developed Parkinson disease. After a few years he could no longer paint and we had to sell our car since we could no longer afford it. He never complained and always had a positive attitude. He died at 72 when I was 19 (39 yrs ago). He also played five musical instruments and had his own band in the 40's. Writing this has made me a little sad since I haven’t thought about my Dad like this is quit a while . . .