the girlI grew up in an artist’s house, my parent’s house.

My father had a painting studio in the basement and every night he would paint after work.  My father never struck me as the stereotype artist.  He is a quiet and  conservative man.  His paintings are mostly color studies.  Acrylic on canvas.

His day job was an art teacher, art department head for most of his career.  He’s retired now.  To me he was a father first.  Maybe that’s why I didn’t see him as an artist.  He was always there for me.  His art and work came second.  I’ll be forever grateful for the attention he gave me and lessons he taught me, especially the lessons he didn’t know he was teaching.  Watching Dad paint, which I haven’t seen in a long time, was special.  I’m very proud of my father.  He’s not a big famous painter publicly, but to his family he is.

When my folks moved from their house of 40 years to a more manageable home, my Dad had to clean out his studio and pack up the hundreds of works of art.  He invited me to come and take a look and choose a few pieces to take to my house.  As I mentioned earlier he does color studies, abstract work.  What I found in his collection delighted me.  This one piece in particular caught my eye.  It is so very different from what he does now and when I was growing up.  Its minimal in content, 3 or 4 colors, but captures my attention and imagination.  Who is the woman?  What influenced my father to paint this piece?  There is no title or date, although I’m guessing it was done around 1967 or earlier.  Before my time.

What are the stories behind this painting?  Maybe Dad was still in school.  Why doesn’t he produce paintings like this one anymore?  I know some of the answers, but will I remember all the details to tell my grandchildren about their Great Grandad the artist?  I sure hope so.

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