So, I was going to write a beautiful poem or something for today. Today marks 3 years since we lost our dad. I was pregnant with my daughter, who shares his birthday, April 11th. I think it’s very appropriate to include him on here, because it really is because of him that I got back into my art. I remember doing something for high school or college for art, and bringing it downstairs for Mom and Dad to look at. He actually bought one of my first pieces before I even graduated college. He was always silent about it, not giving much encouragement, but any that he shared, I cherish. My first award was a portrait of him (1st prize).
In memory of my dad, I was looking for some unique symbol…something that was out of the ordinary and didn’t just say “Dad” or “In memory”, etc. As I was racking my brain, I thought of the perfect symbol…a katydid. Let me explain…most of my fondest memories when I was young, was when my dad and I would go walking through the woods, or just simply spending one on one time in the backyard. I remember he would talk about the trees, the leaves, the animals, insects, ets. He would walk with me over huge logs that would cross the creek and talk about how huge the tulip poplar trunks are…the difference between deciduous and evergreen trees, the beetles that crossed our paths, and my favorite of all, the sounds of summer. I remember a conversation with him about locusts, cicadas and katydids. Throughout my life, I’ve since got the katydid sound mixed up with other insects, but once you hear it, you’ll know the sound I’m talking about. Summer is my absolute favorite season, even in North Carolina! And what better sound to herald in summer than the katydid. Dad was the one that really instilled in me my love of nature – even the snakes and spiders. The katydid was a kind of an ‘aha’ moment.
(#6 and 7 on the playlist are the ones I’m talking about if you go this site)
I searched for the word “katydid” to find pictures of katydids and of course I found lots of pictures and sounds of them. What’s interesting was that I also found an art forum that I browsed. I knew immediately that this site would not provide me a katydid picture, but I was stuck. The artwork there was gorgeous! I was instantly hooked on the website, drinking in the images and trying to absorb the techniques.
As I sat by my computer, I didn’t really join in the discussions (another thing I got from my dad – I’m a great listener, but not a great talker), but I became more and more fascinated with the medium and started to try it out, and slowly started drawing more. After 10 years of not doing anything with art, I found other artists that found the time, either full-time, part-time or not enough-time. There were others out there that could squeak out time to do something and I was inspired! I joined a local art group (Art&Soul Studios) and SLOWLY, I’ve been adding to my dusty and out-dated portfolio.
So, to my father, thank you for leading me back to my passion.