Wednesday, June 13, 2012

All in the Family

I come from a family of visual artists. My grandmother never made a living at it. Back in the day, women didn't work outside the home. But she's paint murals on the walls of her dining room. And when she'd tire of them (usually in a week or two). She'd paint over them and start fresh. This was also a woman who would take her daughter dress shopping at completely unaffordable designer boutiques, sketch up ideas in the dressing room, and then go home and make dresses herself.

My dad, her son, ended up being an illustrator, back in the days when every ad agency had artists on staff. And I ended up getting a glimpse of this over the weekend. One of his old friends from the ad agency has been cleaning out his basement - and finding all kinds of original art, as well as campaigns that my dad worked on thirty and forty years ago. Can you say Mad Men?

It's been so neat going through all of his work - and seeing that he did much more than I ever realized, especially in inks and other techniques (whose names elude me at the moment). You see, I was never an artist. My dad offered to teach me drawing when I was a kid, but I was more interested in reading books or playing Atari. I kept thinking I'd get those lessons some other time, but he died when I was 17. I never knew him as an adult, so these paintings are even neater - it gives me a look at him as a professional, doing what he loved to do.

And wouldn't you know it? There are about eight oil paintings of Greek myths. I'm thinking I have to somehow include them in the marketing for my new series, which is based loosely on mythology (the gods are fighting a huge immortal war). So thanks, dad. That art came just in time. And all that time I spent reading books worked out, too.


catslady said...

Oh, that is wonderful that you found some of his art. That's what I wanted to do but was told I had to get a real job so I worked at something that I had no true interest in although I think I was a good worker. When I had my children, one of my daughters showed a talent for art too. I told her she should do what she loves if that was her desire. She graduated as a graphic designer last year and currently is trying to make a business of it with her boyfriend who is also an artist!! They may never end up rich, but I believe they will always love what they are doing.

Brandy said...

What a neat story! Are you going to frame any of his artwork?

Angie Fox said...

That is fantastic that you encouraged her! And I'll bet she does very well. I know several graphic artists who love what they do and earn a good living.

Angie Fox said...

I was actually thinking of framing the Greek paintings for my office. They're so cool and colorful.