Thursday, October 18, 2007
Anyone who knows me well knows that I have been a Neil Young follower since I was about 12 years old. I was in 8th grade when I bought "After the Goldrush" and it remains a album that resonates insights I always need to hear - even though the insights can be different as I age and evolve. I have never had some kind of rock star crush on Neil Young, rather, it is master guide-pupil relationship. I usually have about 2 dreams a year in which Neil Young appears, rarely speaks, but the lesson I take away from the dream is one that I just wasn't getting on the world plane, so Neil the guide comes in and offers some gem in a metaphorical way, and I have a lite bulb moment. I still paint NEIL on my jeans - to remind me to follow my muse, don't be afraid if you don't fit one genre, or if I get afraid of fitting in [which I do all the time] I just think of Neil, and his steadfastness to dance his own tune, even when the record producers were telling him something different.
Recently, I purchased Neil tickets for the Minneapolis concert in November, as we were going to take a trip to see my family. Plans had to be changed, and I had to sell my beloved Neil tickets. I've seen him so many times it's not the end of the word, but perhaps painting a quick, simple piece of him was my consolation to myself. So first I painted him as about a 30 year old Neil, and then I started to do a portrait of him as 60 year old Neil. As I worked on the latter, it became clear quite quickly that the face was not that of Neil's, it was my father as a much younger man. My father is in his mid eighties, and is not doing well. I knew that Neil had a message for me today. I won't disclose it here. But I did this portrait of my father. He was ana rchitect well into his late 70's, and he he loved good fabrics and wore nice hats and ties. I love his ties. I can still remember some of the ties he wore whhen I was young. It's funny how an object can hold so much memory, it can hold a life and bring it back.