Thursday 8 June 2017

The Father of Reinvention

I haven't been the most faithful blogger the past year or so. It's been a year of "arts other than literary"... a year with many ups and downs.

For one thing, my father, Max Akerman, died April 6th. He'd had Parkinson's Disease for seven years or so, but his final illness was sudden.

We were shocked...just now coming out of it, I think, the initial part, at least. But so glad he didn't suffer a long, drawn out ordeal.

For another, I've taken up drawing and painting in a pretty big way. I found an amazing portrait teacher, artist Donna Shvil (her website), at Cummings Centre (for people 50 and older).

And, to combine the two, may I present my portrait of my Dad?

The original is pencil on 9 x 12 inch toned paper, which I then laser-jet printed, transferred to watercolour paper, and painted with acrylics...

This isn't my first portrait (I will post more anon), but it is definitely the most meaningful one so far. The expression in his eyes...I feel the love and the slight bemusement. I had him remove his glasses as I was taking the photos, so he's a bit unfocused, but also clearly thinking, "What is she up to now? Well, I love her, I have nothing better to do, it doesn't hurt me to just sit here, so let her do her thing. And we'll see what comes out of it..."

He loved his family in the best possible ways. We miss him...the last of his slew of brothers and sisters.

A few weeks after he died, I helped my Mom empty the apartment of Dad's clothes. Seven large bags...she looked at them, out on the sidewalk as I was about to put them in the car, and said, "A man's life in seven bags."

I said, "No, Mom. Not his life. Just his clothes."

Go in peace, Dad. I'm so glad I followed the urge to draw your portrait. It's been a year of lost and found that will resonate for a long, long time.

Next time, I hope to show you what else I've been doing in the drawing, painting, and abstracting department. But here's a taste of my other portrait work, and my abstracts.