I really want to take some time in this post to talk about my Dad. His portrait is more than just a random array of brush marks put together that end up resembling him. My Father is my hero, my inspiration, my number one fan, my everything. This painting taught me a lot about him and also a lot about myself.
Technique wise, I feel this is one of my strongest portraits to date. There’s an evolution and great understanding of the medium which makes sense since I’ve been painting for a decade now. What I wanted to capture in this piece was his character. You don’t need to know him to actually know him. Those who do, feel it right off the bat. He’s a man of class and morals but also can be your best friend and a good time all around. My dad has built himself from the ground up and has taken pretty much all the risks to get to where he’s at today.
He’s older in this painting. I didn’t choose to portray him as a young buck fresh out of law school. Time and work have created a big part of his identity. If you’ve followed my ramblings or been in a room more than 10 minutes with me, you know I tend to paint friends and lovers. This was a brand-new challenge. I love my dad with all my heart and soul, but we have had our differences in the past. He’s in my life regardless of how I feel.
Part of his character is to be the strong saviour type. To always protect you and keep you out of harm’s way. This comes from a place of pure love but it also has negative consequences. Being his son is not an easy gig 100% of the time. I had issues trying to make my own name and not be known as “Traian’s son, the painter”. We bumped heads for sure and argued like every family does. With transitions and life moving forward, I’ve found peace and created my self. Dad has always been there for me and he always will, but I had to learn things on my own and he had to accept that.
I never want my father to be in my shadow and I never thought I’d ever say that sentence. He’s a great man and this painting is a tribute to him. It’s how I see him after all our history together. If you ever get the chance to meet him, I promise you will never forget him. People call me King and that makes him the Emperor. As a young man, I find myself evolving to be an equal instead of the child. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always be his baby boy and he will say the same thing over and over again. I just feel we understand each other better. There are somethings you can change and other things you can’t.
This painting comes at an important time for us. He’s coming down and settling into retirement while I’m gearing up and burning brighter than ever. I’m incredibly proud of my dad and honoured to be his son. My love for him will remain after he’s gone and I’m gone in the form of this painting.
I love you, Dad.