Mountain of a Man

Upon hearing of my father’s passing a friend of mine sent me a message saying
"He was a mountain of a man." This friend is Irish, so I first thought that it was a quirky Irish saying.
She has a lot of those.
But the more I reflected on it, I realized that WAS an accurate description of my Dad.
He was strong, yet gentle. He was unassuming, yet held a distinct presence. He instilled in us all a love of nature.
He was quiet, but steadfast, and his faith and dedication to God and his family was unwavering.
He seldom asked for anything, but he was the rock that withstood so many storms and centered us all. And in the times that we lost our way, we could look to him for guidance and regain our bearings.
If you were gazing at Pike's Peak, it's difficult to imagine the landscape without that mountain in it. Just as it is difficult to imagine my life now without him.
He was a good, good man. And I was blessed to be his daughter.
So I found it fitting to paint a mountain as a tribute to him. And...there's another connection to this story.
When I first started painting as a little girl, I learned by watching Bob Ross. I would watch the show on PBS on Saturdays and take notes as he painted. Then I would go to my easel and try to mimic what he had done (this is long before we had VCRs so I couldn't record it and paint along).
There must have been a couple of weeks in a row where BR used a purplish color in the sky (similar to the one below) and I liked it because I painted several canvases with that background. I remember showing my parents one of my paintings and they both complimented me, but as I turned to go back to my room I heard my dad say "I just wish she wouldn't use that color in the sky all the time!" ☺️
Now, I didn't take offense to that. He meant well. And in my Dad's artistic brain skies should just be BLUE! But I do remember having a conscious thought that HE was the one I needed to try to impress. He was the one I wanted to please with my artwork.
Looking back I see how silly that is-because I KNOW he was just never really interested in art. So I would never be able to impress him anyway.
But I painted this mountain for him. I think today he might smile at it. At least the sky isn't purple.
Mountain of a Man  16 x 20" Oil on Birch Wood part of The Windswept Collection

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