Paternal Web


Paternal Web 72dpi

In honor of Father’s Day, here is a painting I did many years ago of the father-son relationship.  Spanning three generations, the image was inspired by my studies, at the time, of Inuit art.  I had xeroxed and spiral bound an entire book on the subject which I found in the library.  The book was out of print, and I simply had to have it, so I copied the entire book.  Its influence fed me in my quest for simplicity.  Both traditional and contemporary Inuit art gave me geometric ways of expressing human nature.

I grew up without brothers, so when I became the mother of a son, it was not only new to have a child, but to watch a boy grow up.  Watching Jonah’s relationship with his father develop was fascinating.  The connection that grew between them drew its threads – some of them sinister – from the grandfather as well, and beyond to my [ex]husband’s ancestors.  My father, though my son never knew him well before he died, mysteriously emerged in his grandson’s body language.  Even my uncle’s traits showed up in my son’s personality.  And as I sat with the mothers of other little boys while our children played, I heard stories of paternal webs equally intricate, equally long-reaching in their impact.

How much choice does a young man have in what he truly inherits?  Whatever is handed down from the father and grandfather will be handed down to his own son and grandson.  Both complex and subtle, all these strands form a powerful web.  Watching my son grow up, it was almost too much for words.  So, I painted a picture!

Happy Father’s Day!


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