Painting: Inside the Hive (for Daddy)
I loved making this painting; it’s been the most fun project I’ve done in a long time.
Maybe part of the reason I enjoyed it so much is because I love the color yellow. Yellow is the color of sunshine and happiness, and it has a way of making the world feel so much brighter. But what inspired this project? Well, this painting was a Father’s Day gift for my Dad.
When I think of my Dad, a thousand pictures, a thousand colors come to mind. I think of how gentle he is with myself and my sister, how deeply I can sense his love for us. I think of all the middle-of-the-nights, when I was upset and couldn’t sleep; how he’d talk with me for hours until my mind calmed down. We’d talk until 2:00am on nights when he’d have to leave for work before dawn the next day, and he never once complained or told me to go back to bed and leave him alone. He taught me to examine my doubts and questions in the light of God’s Word, my fears in the light of what is true and sure.
I think back to middle school, and how I wanted to do everything Daddy did. I mowed lawns with him, I learned how to grill, I even expressed an interest in football and basketball (a laugh for those of you who know me, I’m sure)—all because those were things my Dad did. He let me tag along with him or trips to Lowes, or to go for a run, and it meant the world to me. We would listen to his CDs in the truck; he introduced me and my sister to all the classic 80s bands, ranging from Journey to the Police to REM (he even has an album by the Cranberries, which was my favorite.)
I think of the Sunday afternoons when I was a Senior in high school, when we’d go mountain biking together—just the two of us. Even though he is capable of going much faster than I, he always insisted on riding behind me so that if I fell, he would be close by. I think of the sun shining golden through the trees onto the reddish dirt of the trails, I remember feeling sweaty and exhausted—sweaty, exhausted, and glowing with the simply joy of the moment. We would ride back home in his truck, listening to NPR, tired, dirty, relieved, and feeling good.
My Dad taught me and my sister to love learning. He had so many books, and our TV was often on the National Geographic or History Channel when he was home. I remember being little, and how he’d let me sit cuddled up next to him. I often found whatever documentary he was watching boring at that point in my life, yet I stayed sitting there because I just wanted to be with him.
Bees/beekeeping is one of the many subjects that he finds fascinating; I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts keeping bees someday. In a restaurant that our family used to frequent, there was a stylized painting of a queen bee in a purpe beehive. Daddy always mentioned how it was his favorite painting in the restaurant, and then he’d usualy proceed to tell us some interesting fact about bees.
So, when I was pondering what to paint for him, the idea for a bee painting came into my head. The colors of the picture in my mind gave me the same feeling as the memory of the bike trails, and I really like that memory.
There’s a thousand pictures, a thousand colors, I could have painted for him, but I chose this one.
Why? Well, because it felt right.
I love this painting. I love the geometric background, I love the colors, I love the way it made me feel as I painted it. I love the memories it triggers, the happy memories that match the color. I love my Dad.
I don’t know that he’ll ever see this; he’s not very active on the internet and such. Perhaps I’ll email it to him, or show it to him sometime down the road; I haven’t decided yet. Or maybe I’ll just let it carry on as a living tribute to how wonderful he is, whether he ever sees it or not.
I wrestle with how to end this blog post—nothing feels good enough. But Chris Martin’s words keep running through my mind, so I suppose I’ll end with them:
“You know, you know I love you so.” -Coldplay, “Yellow”