#AtoZChallenge My Father, the Artist

To kick off the #AtoZChallenge tribute to my father, I have to talk about him being an artist, because that is so much a part of his legacy. I admit I don’t know much about how my father got involved in art, but I know he was quite the prolific painter. For his beautiful landscapes, he preferred to work in oils, but his abstracts were almost always done in acrylics. I’m going to share photos of some of his work with you today. I apologize for some of the bad shots, but it’s hard to really capture them the right way.

His preferred subject matter as far as oils were concerned were landscapes, especially trees. Maybe part of it is having grown up in a town that was named specifically for trees. He had a bunch right in his backyard and found a kind of peacefulness in them. I think I inherited that love of trees from him. He also planted several in our yard when I was a kid.

This oil painting of trees hung in my parents’ bedroom for years.
This is one we found in storage.

He also had a thing for old buildings and antiques. My parents often went on long Sunday drives, visiting covered bridges and barns in the tri-state area. He was always fascinated by them and their contents and found the beauty even in the ones that were falling apart. I think he also admired their history.

One of the older barn paintings he did back in the day.
This is one of my favorites from the old tree pictures. The colors even look vibrant in this photograph. But just imagine it in person.
I wish I knew where this little church actually was. This painting hung in my mother’s room at the nursing home for years.
Dad did a few still lifes. If I remember correctly, this one hung in our dining room. But in the later years, it was one that adorned my mother’s nursing home room, keeping a part of my father with her.

The abstract paintings were always fun to look at because he liked to put together colors, lines, and shapes. When I developed my own later style, I found myself doing some of the same, but in my own way. And sometimes he would blend a little real with a little abstract. They were always done in acrylics.

This was part of a set of three abstract paintings that always hung in my parents’ living room. In honor of my father’s 70th birthday a few years ago, I brought it into my classroom to share with my students.

His least favorite thing to paint was people. He always said he could never get them right. After he passed away and we were going through the storage unit and everything, we did find a couple of them. I think he did pretty well. I would love to see a picture of the original models.

This one still breaks my heart because it collapsed and crumpled just moments after I took its picture. But at least I have this.

There is a distinct difference in his painting techniques from the ’70s to the 2000s. In the older days, he used larger strokes. In the newer pieces, he was more influenced by the Impressionists and did more almost pointillism and Van Gogh-esque strokes and dabs. I can’t decide which period I like best.

This is a newer piece he had submitted for sale in an art show after he retired. It didn’t sell, but I have it in my house.
This is one that my father did in the later years, and it is one of my favorites. For now, it is on display at my aunt’s farmhouse. Some day, I think it may come home with me.

And one of the greatest things my father did was paint for those he loved. OK, so he did paintings for my mother as a way to woo her. He didn’t often act very romantic, per se, but I can’t think of anything more romantic than an artist creating something special and beautiful just for me.

This is one of dad’s later red barn paintings. My mother grew up with a big red barn, so my father painted a few for her.
My father painted this just for my mother. They shared a love of the color blue. What’s most impressive about this is my father was an asymmertrical person, but my mother preferred everything to be symmetrical. He always said it was hard, but he grit his teeth to make this because he knew she would love it. It always hung vertically, but in the nursing home, it only fit on the walls horizontally.

I did have the honor of taking a class with him once. I loved sharing supplies with him and learning from him. While my style was different, he did always appreciate what I did. I will always be grateful to him for teaching me to love art and nature via his art. Some day I hope to be able to share even more of his work with you.

Catch up on my 2019 A to Z Challenge posts here.

Read my A posts about Dad from previous challenges:

A is for Artist (2012)

3 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge My Father, the Artist”

  1. Your father was very talented.
    Stopping by from the A to Z challenge to see how you’re doing. Nice post dedicated to someone you obviously loved tremendously.
    Blessings from Geoff in South Africa.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m already behind in the first week, but will catch back up this weekend. Thank you for stopping by!

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