This is the artwork I painted for a Brent. It is a large painting and is now hanging in his new music room. Several months ago his mom wrote an article in memory of his dad. I was touched by it. I wanted to paint a painting that illustrated the article exactly how I saw it in my mind. I am happy with the painting. I loved the man in the painting as a father and I LOVE the man I gave it to. The article follows.
It came into being over a period of time, and was made unintentionally and without conscious thought; it just happened. Troy made the same trip back and forth to the barn several times a day, thus causing the path to develop naturally. It was by no means straight; it skirted a fig tree in the back yard, then went around the chicken house and through a gate into the pasture. As he walked down the path, he would at times be joined by a donkey, his dog, or maybe a couple of goats, or even a goose.
Sometimes his steps were eager and hurrying because he was wondering what was going on at the barn. Had Buttercup had her kid, and were the eggs hatching yet under the bantam hen? What about the coon dog puppy? Maybe today would be the time it would show interest in treeing and barking at the coon hide used for training. So many things to see about and do.
Apart from the animals, there was always something to do with the tractor. If it didn't need working on there would be work to do with it. All these things kept interest at high pitch at the barn, so no wonder a trail was formed after a while.
As time went by, however, his steps became slower and more halting, and the trips to the barn were fewer, but never stopped entirely. Sometimes a cane was necessary, but he still made his way back there to check on things.
The barn and its surroundings were not in the greatest shape as far as neatness was concerned, but he was not overly worried about orderliness; he just wanted to enjoy what was there, and creatively make what was needed out of things that were never intended to be used in the ways that he came up with.
When the time came for him to let the animals go it must have been a grief to him, but he didn't complain about not being able to keep things as he always had. He realized that his trips down the path were becoming fewer and more of a burden than a joy, so he quietly went about the business of letting go and making the best of a different way of life.
The path is gone now, grown over with grass as it was in the beginning, but we will remember it as a symbol of the pleasure he had in the simple things of life, just as we will always keep his memory green in our hearts.
By Chris Gentry (Mama, Nanny)
Written for my family