Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's day ART tribute to a great man

Gonna take a break from posting pics of my trip to Europe to pay tribute to my father. For those that have not visited my website, I have a concentration of art pieces dedicated to my dad. So -- thought I'd revisit those today.

My father was perhaps one of the kindest men around and yet, he was definitely what we term a "man's man." He loved to fish, hunt, fix cars, and do carpentry. Yep, he could do just about anything he set his mind to. His day job had him traveling from town to town. He was the local field representative for Social Security but he loved his job. It allowed him time to talk with the old farmers in the area and swap stories.

He was always there for me. I remember one scout outing, a Father/Daughter campout, where we were supposed to lay out an onion trail for our dad's to follow. My girlfriend and I set out to lay our trail but didn't stay on the path. Anyway, we got ourselves thoroughly lost. Finally, we just stopped and waited. Sure enough, our Dads proved what great sniffers they had cuz they found us. I was never so glad.

His later years, he suffered rheumatoid arthritis. The medication also caused complications. It was so hard to witness this strong man getting weaker each day. When he died, I cried but kept most of the sorrow within. He died May 5, 1999. That summer, I attended an AP art institute where we were instructed to create a body of work. We did 16 pieces of art in 4 days. Very intense. I chose my father and his illness for my subject matter.

The last piece, brought tears to everyone when I presented it for critique. That's when my grief began to heal. Basically, it's a poem where one part his is repsonse the other mine. The last week of his life he'd loss the use of his hands and feet. So I used shoes, feet and shoelaces as a metaphor for his desire to embrace life even when life didn't embrace him. Above is an image meant to show his sense of humor even when faced with such adversity. The shoes to the left are full of thumbtacks, a way of showing the pain he must have endured. But - he never complained. He always had a smile on his face. I clearly remember the last day I saw him. He couldn't speak and was trying to tell me something. I couldn't understand, but his eyes twinkled with mirth and he smiled. I miss you.

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