Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Season of Goodbyes

This spring has been one of tremendous change for me and in hind sight I realize that I am going through a "season of goodbyes".  Some are very sad and others are more hopeful, but sad or hopeful I have found that they have left me with a deep feeling of sadness and melancholy.

It started with the passing of my father on April 13, 2015.  He lost his battle to cancer after many valiant years of fighting it.  My mother, sister and I were with him in the end, and although we knew he would pass from this retched disease, it was still a difficult goodbye.  How do you summarize the impact someone like a father has on a life?  I can't, but he has been on my mind every day since.  When I returned home I had to say goodbye to my Golden Retriever Buddy.  Buddy, a good natured and playful 7 year old dog, was involved in an incident where he could not keep his teeth to himself and bit a young boy who had come over to our house to play with my son.  While the family of the boy said we did not need to get rid of Buddy, for the safety of all children who would come by to play at our house with my children, we had to give Buddy away.  I miss his greetings every time I pull into my driveway.  During this same time frame I announced that I had accepted a new job teaching at St. Bonaventure University and would be saying goodbye at graduation to all my friends at Villa Maria College where I was currently teaching.  My new opportunity at St. Bonaventure is a wonderful one and I am so excited to be joint a great team of educators who are dedicated to their student's learning.  But my great opportunity comes with having to say goodbye to students with whom I had developed wonderful relationships.   I also had to say goodbye to faculty whom I have taught with for the past 10 years, and hardest of all I had to say goodbye to my best friend, confidant, and colleague Mollie.  She and I started together at Villa and have worked side-by-side every day since.  We weathered ups and downs at the college and cheered each other on.  We improved our program dramatically and just when it looks like we will reap the rewards of our hard work, I have to go and leave.  I'm sorry Mollie:(

So with all of these feelings and thoughts rattling around inside of me I decided to do a painting to express my sadness.  I was inspired by Matt Dixon's robot series which I found on Pinterest.
He shows such emotion in each robot and I love emotive paintings.  I have painted robots before so I thought I would try my had at a sad robot.  Because AAU has taught me so well, I knew that I could not attempt this painting without some sort of reference, and not wanting to copy other's work I decided to make my own robot and pose him for the painting.  This way I could control the pose, the light, and make sure I was accurate with the details and perspective.  You have seen me riffling through my studio for parts.  Then I had to make a trip to Home Depot for paint for the house so I took my son with me and put him on a mission to find robot parts!  We were laughing down every aisle but eventually we found enough pieces between Home Depot and my studio to create my "mini-robot".  Here he is below...  

I decided to paint him in oil on board because it creates a "chalky" look that I like.  I wanted to make him sad but still keep him child-like so I made sure to have some "brighter" colors in the painting, but not too bright.  Now that he is done he needs a name!  Any suggestions?  Comment below with your ideas:)


  1. I like the back story as much as the final result. It's really neat that you included your son in the scavenger hunt for "robot parts." Young eyes often see a whole different spectrum of possibilities than we do and it's a reminder of how we should strive to be as artists.
    Here's a link to a kindred robot spirit for you:
    I've never met creator James Anderson, but what an imaginative artist/storyteller he is!

  2. Thanks for the comments and the link to Ellie on Planet X! Great site! I always love it when you can see the development of art and James Anderson shared a lot of that:) Any suggestions on a name for my robot? It was a fun process so I think I may do more!

  3. "Bin" (from where his/her parts came)