Week 4: Collage for My Father

My studio table and the collage in process.

Time folds back on itself. This collage celebrates the memories of my Dad when I was a child, while honoring him now as a father and grandfather in the present.  I have explored the symbol of my old treehouse in previous works, and brought it back here.  My Dad built this treehouse for me at our weekend home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  It was here that we spent many hours together on the Choptank River- fishing, crabbing, and watching the birds. The treehouse was a place of reverie, a place I would go by myself.  I enjoyed being alone, but never felt lonely.  I filled the branches of the tree with a tossed assortment of the things my father and I loved and shared: fresh figs, a ripe peach, sliced tomatoes, fishing, boating, blue crabs, waterfowl, lacrosse, physics, art, and piles of books.


It was great fun to work on this collage while my Dad was here visiting.  It is too easy to forget to let the ones we love know how much we appreciate them.  I wanted to pour a lifetime of love and gratitude for my father into this 12 ” x 12″ panel, and then share it with him in person.  While I was intent on getting enough studio time this weekend to finish the project, I reminded myself to balance that impulse with just spending time with Dad in the present.  That is the whole point after all– each of those special memories happened in the present moment, and more are constantly unfolding if we can only pay attention.  We spent an afternoon together downtown, had lunch at Orzo and went to see my show at Chroma Projects.  We went to my son’s basketball game, and sat outside on an unseasonably warm afternoon to watch him throw the football with his Dad, cheering him on with each spectacular catch. We cooked some great meals and had long conversations around the table.  I feel so connected to my Dad, and feel peace in the thought that there are no things left unsaid.