My friend Jim commissioned me to do this painting for him. He and his
wife have ancestors from Ireland and they were really touched by this
memorial of a famine ship. His wife, Colleen, has ancestors that were turned
away from the United States because they were so poor and sick from
crossing in what was called a coffin ship. They went to Canada instead. Eventually they immigrated to the United States.
This is a portrait of a chair that belonged to my father. He took an interest in to caning chairs after he retired. I found the chair, seat-less, at a yard sale along with some others. This was his favorite, which he liked particularly for its shape and size. He had a great eye for beauty. I love that he became interested in a new craft and skill late in his life. He did wonderful works.
Maybe, just maybe, this chair was the start of my fascination with them. I drew this in a class with Bruce Smith at Brigham Young University. He would get pretty excited about chairs as well. It could have rubbed off on me. But really it was my dad that opened my eyes to the possibilities of painting chairs. He had a variety of chairs in his house that he picked up at different places, as well as the chairs that were passed down in the family for generations. He said to watch people as they came in and see which chairs they sat in. He thought you could tell a lot about a person by which one they chose. The chairs themselves have personality, and draw certain people to them. At the moment, I am in the process of painting portraits of my dad's chairs. I like thinking about him while I work.