On My Dad’s Shoulders

Mildred At The Beach

I’ve been painting from old family photos lately. This painting is from a photo taken of my cousin Mildred Harris Farrell in the 1930s at the Russian River near what is now Healdsburg’s Memorial Beach.

I love the composition but I can’t take all the credit for that. The intricate interrelating circles were all right there in the photo. And that makes me wonder who took this picture. I’d like to think it was my Dad, who would have been in high school at that time and who was a bit of an artist himself. I like the idea of expanding on an image he may have created. I like the idea of standing on his shoulders in my art life.

The more I think about it, the more I’m sure it was my Dad who took that photo. Right now, I can feel his sturdy shoulders just under my feet. In fact, I always could.

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