Papa Portrait


Shortly after the time we found out that we were to expect a baby at the end of the year, my grandfather died of a heart attack. My grandfather, or ‘Papa’ as us grandkids called him, had dreams of an art career in his youth, but the Great Depression and the demands of a growing family made it necessary to find more practical employment, yet he continued to throw his creative impulses into his everyday life, through creative carpentry, and an oil painting hobby (I still have his homemade art painting box where I store my own oil paints). I wish he could’ve lived to see me on my feet as a freelance artist, and I like to think he would’ve gotten a certain amount of satisfaction out of it. I did this pastel portrait of him shortly after his death and it still hangs in my grandmother’s bedroom (she eventually passed away at a ripe old age of 101 many years later). I have many fond memories of summers spent at their Whitefish Bay cabin on Lake Superior near Paradise Michigan (me and my brother were usually shipped up there for the last half of the summer to escape hay fever allergies), and of wild blueberry picking and hunting for agates on the shore.