Charlie as Peter Rabbit – January 2016, oil on aluminum, 4″ x 5″
Charlie posing on a garden path one sunny day last spring reminded me of the story of Peter Rabbit.
Rabbits are very curious creatures, and exploring (and getting into trouble) is just part of being a rabbit. I listened to an audiobook of Peter Rabbit to inspire me when I started the series and Charlie must have been listening too to strike such a pose after knocking over the watering can.
My father gave me a foundation, not only in art, but in all I hold dear.
An extremely social person and an engineer by trade, my father was my earliest influence as an artist, gardener, and animal lover (we had bunnies, dogs, and cats, a pig, goats, chickens, horses, pigeons, and probably more that I’m forgetting). Dad took art classes throughout college and always kept up drawing when he could. When I was little, I loved studying his drawing exercise books and sketchbooks. I remember one book in particular that had printed at the bottom of every page, “you learn to draw by drawing,” and that mantra has always stayed with me.
By the time I went to college, my dad’s Multiple Sclerosis had progressed pretty far, but I know he would have supported me in my decision to be an artist. Above is a paining I did of him while in art school, when my style of painting was much looser (I’ve been painting on metal since my junior year). My passion for making things, and for nature bonds me to my father and keeps the sharp and lively man from my childhood strong in my mind and heart.
I love him dearly and I’m thankful to everyone back home that helps take care of him. Especially my sister, Theresa, who diligently and lovingly visits several times a week and whose FaceTime calls from the nursing home make him seen not so far away. My aunt Carla recently found and framed the certificate below for him from when he was the Art Club President in high school.