why I paint

my dad

my hero

did you know my dad was an artist? he was!!!
my dad was a design consultant by trade & highly acclaimed in his profession back in the day!

everywhere we went as kids my dad talked to us about design ,, my sister Shash and I would eagerly report to our dad what the ladies washroom was like in every, and I mean EVERY, establishment we went too... we were taught at a young age to gauge colour ... to understand balance ... and even though we grew up and loved colour and lots of of it on our walls he taught us walls should be white .. so the art can shine 

he was amazing

his light was brilliant 

he was the best dad I could ever imagine having

when he got sick my whole world flipped upside down ..even now .. 7 months after he left us it doesn't make sense, doesn't quite feel real, doesn't seem possible even .. that he could get sick and leave us all

I would have sworn he was going to out live us all!

Last summer when he was sick and we were there sitting with him .... soaking up as much up of his presence that I could .. I wanted every line in his face to be imprinted in my mind .. and honestly I don't have to try to so hard cuz I kind of look like him :) ... and my lines were his lines .. and that is ok with me!

anyways as I was saying .. sitting with dad .. talking and sharing .. my sister Shash asked me if I could paint something she had seen .. she showed me the picture and dad said use my canvases and paints ... he painted with oils .. one day I will do an oil painting .. I have all of his old oil paints .. they are probably cement by now but I have them they were his and now they are mine and I treasure them! so I brought over my acrylics that I had ... and used his canvas .. not knowing if I could for sure capture what my sister had seen ... we needed encouragement .. we needed to hold on to hope and when you are faced with a death sentence you CLING to hope!! and so I swallowed my fears and inhibitions and I tried .. without expecting much ... and I did it .. I did my own version of what my sister had seen and shown me 

and I was kind of shocked

first painting in years acrylic on canvas 
 I had taken art in high school .. I had fooled around with my dad's oil paints as a kid .. and always got in trouble for not cleaning his brushes properly and screwing the lids back on tight enough :) ... I knew I could sort of draw ... I could kind of copy things ... and I knew I could sew and crochet and a few times I painted little things for the girls and they were cute but that's about as far as it ever went .. maybe things would have been different for a thousand different reasons that have no reason to go in to at this point in my life .. but they weren't and I didn't try ... didn't know I could paint .. not really .. not like I am painting now

and then when I saw the painting (above) .. I was like wow .. I did that .. I think I could do more .. and so with my dad encouraging me I began to paint .. I had taken a course the spring before and loved it ... I had taken some other lessons of sorts from a friend and loved it ... but still never really thought of myself as a painter ... as an artist .. not an artist like my dad .. 

and the atmosphere in my parents house .. one where we were trying so hard to cling to hope... to find a cure even though we were told there was none ... trying, for me anyways, to believe he would beat it .. cuz my dad of all people could beat it .. trying to allow myself to be carried by others people faith .. cuz when I looked at my dad and saw his wasting away and my faith was wavering I knew I needed others to hold my hands up and to lift me up .. at times I am not going to lie other peoples positive attitudes were hard to take cuz at some point, not sure when, but at some point I knew he was dying and no prayer, not even the best most faith filled prayer or the right scripture being prayed over and over and over was going to save my dad ... so I painted .. and he criticized me . and I loved it .. I just wanted to absorb all he had to say

the dragonfly

the picture above was  my dad's favourite that he got to see .. he said to me "Lise, this is good, it's very very good" and I knew that's the best praise you would/could get from my dad .. and I knew I could do this .. it was something that connected me to him ... something that I could do that he could see with his artist eyes and something that could make him proud .. my first marriage did NOT make him proud .. my 2nd and LAST :) does .. and this this ability to paint .. something he could do as well connected me with my father who was about to depart from this world 

I was dying inside and yet trying so hard to keep finding that connection

loosing a parent 
watching them die
knowing they are dying and feeling like your the only one who knows... it sucks!! and it was hard and I am carrying all the feelings that goes along with that still and so I paint .. I paint like mad as I have found something in my mid-life that shuts down the noise, the thoughts, the busyness that lives constantly in my brain ... and I sit and I paint now with my dad gone but when I paint .. he's here ... he's looking over my shoulder... a little more light here Lise ... a little less here Lise ... that's good La .. that's mmmm ok La ... not sure what you are trying to do here La .... so proud of you La ... and I feel him and I hear him and the crazy world around me goes quiet for awhile

and it's just me ... and my dad 

Harvest Pumpkin (acrylic on high gloss paper)

wood painting with acrylic ... cuz it's never too early to start some Christmas crafts :) 

Dragonfly at dusk

my signature paintings .. at least I think they are ... dragonflies symbolize change and beauty and strength ... I love painting them they bring me joy and I love painting abstract mostly cuz it was my dad's favourite!!!


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