My Dad died 3 years ago. He worked hard in construction – seven days, most weeks – to feed his 6 kids. And he played ‘drums’ every waking hour. Everything was a song and a rhythm inside his head.
Dad didn’t give direct advice. He was a “show, don’t tell” guy. I asked him for advice only once when I was in my early twenties and having a bit of turmoil. He told me that life would make more sense if I did 4 things each day: Laugh, Sing, Dance, and Cry. Even if it was only for a moment.
I suppose that was why he would often dance a quick jig while brushing his teeth or right before putting his head on his pillow.
I find the laughing and singing to be easy. The crying is a weird one but I’m getting better at it. Music helps. You don’t have to be sad to cry. And if you can’t fit it in during the day, a little jig before bed works every time. I highly recommend it.
I created my last painting as Brannan Rock as I was lying on the verandah in the rain. The painting had gone through multiple revisions and layers but when I looked at it that morning, it had my Dad’s face smack damn in the middle of the canvas. He was peering at me from inside the painting! His expression is 100% him and it gives my family chills every time they look at it.
It doesn’t belong with my other FooFoo Brannan Rock Interior Design paintings. It truly is a Third Gravitating Body. Coincidentally, it is the 4th painting to show up on the video.
My Dad and I both loved “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra. 180 Beats Per Minute. Brilliant drum practice.
My wicked Scottish humor had my Ma laughing earlier tonight. I told her I was sending you this painting and that I was going to start a new branch of my art company. “Brannan Rock: I Can Accidentally Paint Your Dead Relatives.”
Say Hi to the wizard for me.
– Thomas McDowall,
from Glasgow, Scotland