Friday, July 29, 2011

Figured Out


“You know what it is about this house? It's not the furniture or the floors, it's the art. Where else can you go to see so many original oil paintings?” My dad had a point. The beach house was beautiful partially because of the huge amount of art. Of course there is more; the beautiful view, the enormous white porch with farmhouse columns, the orchard in the back, the sprawling lawn, the beach front property, the sun bleached driftwood, and the secluded location.

I have made some contributions. But no solo acts here. I have worked for years with my dad on various things. The driftwood table in the back was one summer, the restored motor was this one. Every year I work the yard and try to make it just a little prettier. This year it felt like I was really helping make the house more beautiful.

I still want to add an art piece. I suppose I should get into oil paintings. I think it would be as great an honor to have a picture of mine put on the wall of the house as it would be to have it put up in the Met or MoMA.

One artist with his paintings at the beach house is Kurt Solmssen. Almost every year he tells me the story of how he was painting off the back of his station wagon one year and my dad came over to look at it carrying me. I was about one year old and I looked at the painting sternly, looking at it, trying to figure it out. Kurt always says, “you got it, you figured it out.” I don't know if I did, but it is a nice ego boost.

My aunt Liz tells the story of how, when I was about a year old, I stole the keys from my dad and starting trying to open a door. My aunt commented how smart I was, my dad replied, “not really, those are the car keys.”

My dad and I spent three hours trying to design a simple stand for the motor. It took us so long that we barely finished it before we left the house today. It looked good, but we certainly didn't need to take that long. “We've spent so much time overthinking this and I just want to make it work,” my dad said.

Sometimes I'm smart, other times I still need to figure it out.