Since my step father passed away in March this year and then my father in May, for various reasons have not really felt like painting. But the drought has broken and getting that desire to confine myself to the little shed I call my studio and paint.
Have been working on a portrait of my father, a difficult project. With a history of periods of estrangement and dysfunctional relations, there is mixed emotions as a base for the painting.
Childhood memories of my father involved fear and dread. He took pleasure in manipulating and humiliating those closest to him. Aggression and violence also entered our lives, often alcohol induces. A reflection of the treatment he received from his father no doubt. Unfortunately he was unable to brake the cycle.
Freedom came when he left. Thus began our estranged relationship.
However as the years passed and wounds heal, having a father became something I wanted in my life. So began the stressful process of trying to make friends with this man.
Then Cancer hit, and hit again. With the help of my fathers new lady friend, we were able to start a new relationship. Still tense and slightly forced, but over time becoming more natural and genuine.
The cancer took his life too early for him as he was still a youngish man at 69. Too early, as we were only just getting to know each other.
The last days when I looked into his eyes, unbelievably I still felt that fear, but along side it was sadness and love. Watching him approach his death coming face to face with the realities of his life as I believe we all do, I saw regret and desperation in his face.
I started the painting pretty soon after his death and many tears have fallen in its creation. So many mixed emotions.
Having difficulty with it I asked an artist friends advise " forgiveness is missing."
Maybe forgiveness is still missing from my heart too?
After reworking it I hope it holds more forgiveness....
Painting untitled at present...can't find the right words.
And then there is the horse painting. Had some paint to use up so made my heart glad to paint a horse.