I did not come up with the desire to paint about my Grandparents on my own. It was never my intention to explore my past, but a few things motivated me along the way.
Two years ago, while a mature student at Capilano University (North Vancouver BC Canada), I learned to weld – first oxyacetylene, then arc welding. The school has a respectable forge and all the tools required for working with molten metal.
Every time I saw the anvil, I wondered about my Grandfather, who was, by reputation, a fine blacksmith. There are many stories around his blacksmithing days, both in Russia, and as a farmer in Saskatchewan.
A number of projects led me to paint images of my family – first my father, and the things he held dear. Some of them appear in this diptych, with my father looking proudly skyward in the left panel. An avid gardener, he built his own house single-handedly – but with help from gyproc crews and other tradesmen. It was my job to straighten the bent nails – in those days we did not toss them out, but re-shaped them for re-use. We could learn a lot from those practices today, as we now dispose of almost everything. My dad even built his own refrigerator, with the motor housed on the ceiling in the basement directly below. One day I’ll draw them both from memory. They no longer exist, as the house has been bulldozed to make room for new development.
Remembering Dad – diptych, acrylic & oil on canvas, 36″ x 54″ x 1.5″