When I re-launched this blog a year ago, my father had died. I imagined one use for the blog as being an archive for images of some of his art works. That particular thrust of the blog faltered.
Lately, with a sale taking shape, his work has emerged from closets. It stares at me and I at it. My job is to place value on it. I’m eminently unqualified to do so. I’ve admired some of what he accomplished, but have often had trouble taking his painting seriously.
Harold’s creative surge blossomed in early mid-life during his prepared-for career as a college administrator. Circumstances allowed him subsequently to impersonate a full-time artist for over thirty years. He was a showman and canny businessman, and cultivated an image that served him well. And he worked hard at the art thing, too.
Knowing the remnants of that second career are going away, I’m moved to serially archive here a batch of specimens under the recurring rubric “Parting Looks.” It feels like a modest way to remember him while finally bidding “adiós, daddy” to a tall shadow.
(c) 2019 JMN
I’m trying to imagine what this might feel like… and failing
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The feelings I’m having are predictably complicated, I suppose. Definitely bitter-sweet to imagine, projectively, his dwelling, now mine, minus the tangible imprint he left on it. The most burdensome thing is trying to assign monetary figures to objects that are intrinsically worthless. Chris and Charlotte, my estate sale consultants, are coaching me sympathetically through the ordeal. One wants to make a certain profit, which will be plowed into maintenance of the property — taxes, grounds-keeping, repairs, upkeep, and the like. I swing between over-valuing something, in a fit of lust for lucre, and the opposite urge of just wanting to give things away and be done! I must land somewhere in the middle, and I’m not a good, middle-landing person!