Saturday, April 07, 2007

Daddy's Tiger Lilies

I said I'd post some of my Daddy's paintings. Here's one of the ones we have hanging in the house. He painted this in 1998, while he was pursuing his B.A. in Fine Art from UAF.
My Dad was a botanist/forester who worked for the BLM for about 20 years. He truly loved his job and would have kept doing it forever, but at 65 they basically forced him to retire. For the next year he drove us all CRAZY! He'd always had jobs where he traveled a lot and never really been home all that much. He had no clue what to do with himself...
Then, the same year I started university, he started taking a class or two in painting. He'd done it before and really liked it, but never had time or money for it. We've still got one or two paintings he did way back in college. Remember, my dad is much older than you might think... He was 49 when I was born, so he remembers some of the depression and he fought in WWII. He was a navigator for the army aircorp. He knew that he couldn't do something 'frivolous' like painting for a living. He had to have a 'real job' and support a family. So, he tried a couple of things (medicine, engineering) and ended up studying botany and forestry, which he loved.
(He was one of those amazing scientist types who had studied science deeply, yet still saw all of it as reflecting the glory of God. All the evolution and monkey stuff just never fazed him. He was able to talk to me about it when I was in high school & college and explain scientific reasons why it was obvious to him that God was in control. He was able to refute the main premises of evolution so quickly and easily that it was literally never an issue for me.)
When he started painting his love for the natural world came through. He mostly painted plants and landscapes. But-- most of them have this 'Alice in Wonderland'/Dr. Seussian/fairy-tale quality to them. The plants and hills kind of look like they're alive and aware of you- some of them are friendly, but many of them look like they might just eat you... I tried to talk to him about it and he kind of took it as a negative thing, but I thought it was cool.
Anyway, this painting is rather benign. The Tiger Lilies do appear rather like they're looking at you, but not so much that they're just freaky. Some of his paintings are not really appropriate for rooms you want to be in for long periods of time....

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