Being a parent MUST be an adventure. Seriously. Just think about how does it feel when such a small peanut enters your life, looks at you with its eyes wide open and you know that it is largely up to you what his life will be like – feels so scary, huh? We usually mention the role of the mother much more often, there are more works of art devoted to motherhood and the statistics say that we celebrate May 26 (Mother’s Day) more willingly than June 23 (Father’s Day). Why? Good question! After all, daddies also contribute to the development of a child. They differ in their performance, it’s true, but I have to say that when it comes to life, I have learned from my dad more than from anyone else.

 

Life is more colourful with him.
Miriam Schapiro – Father and Daughter, 1997
Life Guide

There are people who have good energy and can draw the sun out of the darkest clouds with one move. This is what my Dad is like. With each step through life I took, as He held my hand, the world was becoming more colourful. Sometimes I don’t even know how I could describe the happiness I felt thanks to him, thanks to all the patience he found for me, the courage he taught me, and the time he always had plenty for me. He was the one who kept reassuring me that I was on the right path, supported me as much as possible and was interested in each of my dreams. I could ask about everything and sing, laugh, cry and talk about my world, endlessly. I still can and will continue to do so as long as the universe lets me do that. Everyone, no matter what, deserves such a father model. Someone whom you can follow without fear, step by step, discovering the beauty of our world.

He’s interested in each of my dreams…
Buwa Shete – Father and Child
Everyone needs someone to follow without fear…
Theodor Severin Kittelsen- My Son Tred Always Follow Father’s Footsteps

 

It’s Not About Blood Ties

Nevertheless, people are not always lucky enough to have a friend in their biological father. And it happens quite often, also in the artistic world, that this role is taken over by someone with whom we are not bound by blood, but who performs better in it than we can imagine. For artists such as Monet, Renoir or Van Gogh, the artistic path was not easy, and “Père Tanguy”, as the artists affectionately called him, was a godsend in the hardest times. The good old man who owned an art shop in Montmartre often took paintings as payment from artists instead of money, even though he knew how little possible it was for him to sell them in the future. There was a beautiful kind of paternal love between him and the painters that gave both sides a boost. Vincent van Gogh had a particularly strong relationship with Julian Tanguy, for whom he was a great support.

It’s not about the blood ties
Vincent van Gogh – Father Tanguy
A role not for everyone

Neglects his family, is self-centred, beats his wife, cheats on her with lots of girls, then walks away without saying a word. Our culture has created such a vision of a “bad father” which, unfortunately, also works in real life sometimes. If there was a competition for the worst artist dad ever, Paul Gauguin would have won this title for sure. After his broker career did not work out, he decided to paint, but far away from home – he went to in Paris to enjoy himself a bit and then ended up on Tahiti, where he was playing around whole days with thirteen-year-old girls, infecting each of them with syphilis, one after another. Ah, and he died of the same disease at the age of 54. The irony of fate, I guess?

Our winner of the worst dad contest!
Paul Gauguin – Self-portrait in a hat
The Scars of Life

We know that life won’t spare us. No matter how much we would like to have a perfectly beautiful relationship with our parents, we are only humans and we make mistakes all the time. That is why I have always liked the paintings of Lucian Freud, the grandson of the famous psychoanalysis expert, from whom the painter probably inherited his skill of careful analysis. It is not pleasant for us to look at people in their ugliness, damaged by time, tired of life. One has to learn how to appreciate Freud Junior, but one thing is certain – he will show us the truth that we do not want to see. A reality that is imperfect, but still strangely beautiful. The father will grow old, and so will the child, but the bond will remain sincere if it has been one.

The young years will pass, but love always stays
Lucian Freud – Father and Daughter
Nothing lasts forever

I know that I will not always be so happy on this day. I know that someday I will sit down in the evening and I won’t be able to hold back my tears as so many people can’t stop already. Life is a bastard that doesn’t want to let us live forever and although this truth hurts us, we can only accept it. But I also know that there are bonds between people that even death cannot break, and all I can do is strengthen them while I have time. And that’s what I do: I celebrate, I catch every moment, I create memories. And sometimes I pray in my heart so that each of us has a chance to do it because there is nothing worse than the awareness that we have run out of time.

The worst thing is to realise that we have run out of time…
Aron Wiesenfeld – Tenat

Our fathers are people. People are not perfect and they disappear from the world faster than they would like to. I just wish that everyone was lucky enough to find their paternal ideal, just as I found mine.

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