My grandfather was a painter and art teacher. I’m sad I didn’t know him better or have him around longer. He was an eccentric man. I have few memories of him, but I do have one of his paintings, and the book he taught from. The book is all marked up with his insights and underlining, and there are a few of his notes tucked between the pages, along with a flier for one of his classes. I read that book with his annotations, and I feel like he is speaking to me.
My father is also an eccentric man, and the older I get, the more I realize I am a lot like him. And I’m happy about that. For a brief time, my father painted. He created tiny abstracts on wood blocks, and I have those in a box. I treasure them. He shrugs them off as though they are nothing, but I once heard him talking about them with his grandchildren, and it might as well have been an inspiring gallery talk. A fireside chat.
Then there’s me. I think people would say I’m a bit eccentric myself. I don’t know about that. I’m currently studying comics through the California College of the Arts, having studied art and painted throughout my life.I recently realized that my paintings are comics, and that we are surrounded by comics all the time, and I hadn’t recognized them.