Dad's Mom and Dad
Oil on 6x9 board
I love these paintings for many reasons. Clearly, the fact that Dad did them, and that they are of my grandparents, Papa and Mudge McGinty. But not only that, he captured them perfectly. Papa always wore his coveralls and sat at the bar in their home; he had a subtle, wry grin that would slowly appear on his face when he was slightly amused. He would either be hunched over the bar when he was playing solitaire or drinking his iced tea, but when he was truly relaxed, especially after finishing what looks to me to be a piece of Mudge's rhubarb pie, he would slouch back at ease with his elbows resting on the chair arms.
Mudge was a hard worker. She was always on her feet, cooking, serving food, making sure we had something in front of us to put in our stomachs. When we'd be sitting at the bar, her spot wasn't in a chair, but she'd be in the kitchen side of the bar, leaning into the conversation with her arms on the counter top, ducking her head under the cabinets so she could join into the talk. However, when she did sit, and here she is sitting at the dining room table, it was rarely a sitting that would last too long. With her arms crossed, she wasn't quite able to relax or settle in, because something would draw her back into some kind of work.
But my favorite thing about these paintings is that Dad actually liked them. And I know that not just because he signed them, but because of what he actually said about them.
Dad's Own Words (From Original Blog Post, August 23, 2006):
This is a painting I did of my Mom for my Dad's birthday on the 14th. I don't know if she liked it too much, the painting is real honest and it looks like her, but it wasn't the most flattering expression and pose. It's funny but, I can paint them with all their imperfections, age spots and wrinkles, but I'm afraid to put the same kind of honesty in other people's poses.
This is a portrait I did of my Dad 2 or 3 months ago. I gave it to my mom for Mother's day. I was really proud of this because of how I handled it so loosely. To my eye, there is alot of detail here, because the arms, T-shirt, and coveralls look exactlly like they were. Any more rendering of the surfaces would have ruined it.