Thursday, November 5, 2009
A Day With Dad ...on his "Job"- Lovingly dedicated to my fine son Liam James
My son Liam joined me for an outdoor painting trip to the small rural village of Kettleby... as a part of a provincial program in all high schools across Ontario on November 4th. It provides students a hands onopportunity to gain insight into the work-a-day world of their Dads. I was most happy and honoured to have Liam join "ME"... to share time with me and to better understand that my making art through painting... is indeed work and an alternative way to earn a living.
The day was chilly...and on several occasions spit a bit of rain... but in general, it was very pleasing... and productive for us both. I had chosen Kettleby as our target destination because I have painted there on many occasions before. Not only are there numerous sites to choose from in this small area... but the whole village is "painter-friendly" and welcoming. There were a few changes since my last visit several years ago... but the hamlet and its people cling to their rural roots and heritage fervently. Many of the homes are restored to their original glory...and bear plaques with the names, occupations and dates on their facades.
During the course of our day-long session... we were visited over and over by inquisitive,interested and friendly citizens... as they came to pick up their mail... or to have lunch at the new Italian Bakery/Bistro located just up the street from where we had set up. I was very proud of the confident and informative conversations that Liam initiated on his own to answer their many questions.Self-esteem... present and accounted for!
We ourselves wandered into the establishment before starting...and found to our surprise that the friendly woman owner...a recent escapee from the "Big Smoke" (Toronto) served a wide selection of "Hot" lunch possibilities... and the full gamut of Bistro beverages. Gone at once was the initial plan to eat the cold lunches that I had brought along!
Liam jumped into the process and selected our site...an elegant century old brick...Ontario central floor plan... with good details about it to support a good painting session. Good eye Son! I offered a little encouragement and a few strategies to get him started into the drawing part. I told him just to "grab on to my shirt tail"... and follow the leader... and to ask questions when he encountered any problems. At first, he was a little tentative and uncertain about proceeding... but within a half hour he was running full steam ahead...seldom asking for more than colour mixing tips. By our much anticipated lunch break... we both were sitting with a good structure... and lay in.
The wonderful, delicious... and HOT "vittles"... accompanied by a steaming mug of Earl Grey Black tea propped up our painting spirits... and dissolved any reservations or reluctance either of us might have had before lunch. We launched directly... without missing a beat into the painting mode. Within another hour and a half... we both agreed that we had enough recorded... to take the studio for fine tuning on the upcoming weekend. We packed up the gear cleaned our brushes and hands and then delivered all of our rags, etc to the bag I keep in the van. I stressed the ABSOLUTE importance of leaving the site as pristine as we had found it. In that way... we insured a hearty welcome ...if we ever returned.
I am including some photos taken during the foray that illustrate the total success of this project...and the Dad Day for Liam and "I". I think that a picture does "say the same as a thousand words". The picture of Liam's radiantly smiling face says it all.
"Art Matters!...and so do our children." Together they say we lived and accomplished good during our given days here on this beautiful Earth. They are our gifts to future generations. Why do our powerful decision-makers in government and educational policy-making continue to underfund..devalue... even worse.. eliminate the Arts programmes in our schools? What kind of society will we project and leave behind without encouraging the Arts? Imagine a world without pictures, music, literature or dance.What a sad and bleak place to exist.. not "live" in...a land void of dreams...or dreamers!
Good Painting to ALL!!!