This Father’s Day I wish to recognize my father, Jim McDonald, for the many lessons that he has offered me over the years. The lessons continue today. I recently had the opportunity to visit my father at his new home in New Mexico. It was a wonderful adventure. We spent time talking, catching up and reminiscing. Much like a typical holiday visit.
Sit, be still, be quiet. Lessons learned from the bank of the river ( and the deer blind). It was a stern mantra of my father. Challenging as a child, his words taught me to be an observer of my environment. From this I learned to feel, smell, taste, sense my environment, taking in color and light and subtle changes. I acquired stewardship for nature and a respect of the world around me.
One morning we spent several hours at the easel. He encouraged me to relax and feel the painting. I was painting in oil with a palette knife, brush and finger which was a first for me. What I had witnessed my father so naturally and instinctively accomplish so many times now began to make more sense. It was a joyous experience as I would step back and turn to see my painting evolve. I did it!
The opportunity to stand next to my father and continue to learn is the greatest lesson and gift I could receive and I am so grateful. It was one day that will stand out for me forever. After 50 years, my father taught me to paint. I had spent my youth watching him paint and admired over the years his mastery of light and color. Never did I inquire to learn to paint nor did he ever suggest it. Seems odd now. My father has always been my hero and perhaps I was too intimidated to ask.
Me and my father, Jim Mcdonald.