At the beginning of this year I promised myself that I would paint a lot more in 2012. So when opportunity came a knocking…I grabbed onto it with both hands.
The story goes like this…when my dad’s computer “blew up” at the technicians’ workshop where it was being repaired; his eldest brother and his wife were very generous and bought him a brand new computer. At 72 my dad isn’t one of those fuddy duddies that sits on the front stoop all day listening to the birdies sing. He’s our families’ genealogy buff and spends most days online in his “man-shack”, researching families and connecting with “long lost” and “never-knew-existed” members. He doesn’t just research our line (the Brink family), but all the little branches running from it. So imagine his distress when the main tool of his trade saw the end of its days. To tell the truth, he actually took it pretty well. I was so proud of him because something like that would really upset me a lot. He stayed so calm and told all of us that he was just going to remain at peace about it and trust God. That trust paid off because a few days later my uncle and aunt stepped up and bought him a new desktop computer.
We are so grateful to them because dad has never had a new computer to work on before. He’s always been using second hand stuff that eventually leaves him in the lurch. His brother is his greatest supporter and since last year has given him a new printer and a portable hard drive for backing up his family genealogy program. That brings me to the subject of painting again. I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a painting for my aunt and uncle as a thank you gift, but didn’t know what they would like. Then we heard about a framed photograph of my dad’s grandfather that belonged to my uncle and that was damaged when it fell from the wall in his son's house. It was sent to me to see if I could restore it, but that’s not really my thing. I was too afraid anyway that I would mess it up completely and cause a family feud or something, so I decided that I would rather do a completely new painting of the old guy for his grandson. I think it’s very special seeing as my uncle has his grandfathers’ names. On the one hand I was rather looking forward to making some art again, but I haven’t done any drawing or painting in a long while. Staring at a blank canvas or paper after so long can be very disconcerting. But I had a mission and decided to just plunge in.
So here’s how the painting of my great grandfather Daniel Stephanus Brink progressed. I think it turned out quite good despite the rusty artist.
Left: the damaged picture; Middle: the original photograph; Right: Daniel Staphanus Brink's portrait done in soft pastels.
In the olden days they used to take photographs and colorize and paint on them… My dad remember as a sixteen year old boy (1955) seeing this framed photograph of his grandfather hanging in his Ouma Marja’s house (838 Fitzgerald street, Belfast, Mpumalanga, South Africa ) in the sitting room. By then his grandfather had already passed away years before in 1947, so my dad dates the picture at 1945/6. The shabby chic chick in me really wanted to give that old frame a sparkling coat or two of white paint....but they'll never let me do it:(
The process...at certain points I really felt like a fraud, but the end result isn't too shabby.
Hey there great grand pappy! My dad is so thrilled with this painting that he wants a copy. Here's hoping my uncle feels the same...