Friday, May 21, 2010

Vlad's Paintings

I suppose this MAY have something to do with the impending approach of Father's Day, but I've never been much of a believer in holidays. If you need a holiday to remind you to tell somebody how much you care about them, or to thank them for the things they've done for you, does that make it okay to take them for granted the other 364 days of the year? Not to mention the whole corporate greed aspect of holidays. Corporations prey upon the guilt and insecurities built into the average human, making them feel like they are worthless scum unless they buy cards, flowers, candy, etc., on made up "holidays" devoted to Father's, Mother's, Valentine's, and other such nonsense. This is starting to sound like I've gotten on a soapbox, but isn't that basically what a blog is, an electronic soapbox? Anyway, back to the point...

In my recent post about Frank Frazetta & My Father, I mentioned my father's painting. He did many oil paintings over the years, a number of which hang on the walls of their home in Long Island, New York, and one of which hangs on the wall in my home in Henderson, Nevada. But I thought I'd take the opportunity to show everybody a couple more that he did, as I realized I've got pictures of many of them on my computer. I'd forgotten he had me take pictures of them the last time I visited (over 2 years ago already), so that he could e-mail images to his step-sister who lives somewhere in Southern California.

Many of the paintings that he does are his own versions of classic paintings by many of the masters (I know there's a Picasso, a Hopper, maybe even a Monet). But he also used to randomly see a photo in a magazine here or there that just struck him as something he wanted to paint. The elephant painting shown here I believe came from a photo from a National Geographic magazine. This was done in 1988, and I remember this hanging on the walls of our house in Whitestone, NY for many years. There was sort of a running joke about the painting that, once you knew it, you were completely incapable of seeing the painting the same way ever again. Nothing major, but it does change your perspective about it enough that you really can't see it any other way anymore.

As I said before, he would also do his own renditions of classic paintings. This was his rendition of Edward Hopper's Early Sunday Morning, and I'm turning over the next part of the story to my Mom here, as I can't really improve on what she said in an e-mail; "Dad painted “Early Sunday Morning” at my request. It is hanging in the dining room where I can see it when we eat there. He did a terrific job on it. He modified it a bit but he captured the essence of the painting and my reason for liking it. Dad’s painting shows two thirds of the width of Hopper’s painting encompassing two plus stores including the barber pole. The store on the left in Dad’s painting would have represented the butcher store my grandfather owned, but was already closed when I was a kid (because my grandfather had retired by then). We played in the empty store as kids. The walk-in meat locker was still there, complete with a window to the inside of the store and a counter below the window, plus a large handled pull-down lock on both sides of the entry door. The store itself still had the counter and old cash register. None of this is visible in the painting but those are the memories it brings back to me. Next door even in real life was a barber shop – it may still be today but I am not sure. It had the barber pole also. One summer on Sunday mornings I walked from home to meet my aunt to go to church with her. She lived upstairs in the front apartment above the closed butcher store. Dad painted his version in 2006. Ode to nostalgia!"

Blog Post Soundtrack; Leadbelly, Joy Division, Kyuss (covering Black Sabbath), Monster Magnet, Prong, Queens Of The Stone Age, Unida, Bjork, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, The Police, Minutemen

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