Carry On Where I Left Off
“Carry On Where I Left Off”- A Memorial Tribute To My Father
Mixed-media sculpture, 6’4″ (h) x 6’4″ (l) x 1’6″ (d)
I went off to college in 1965 to study art. My father had always encouraged me in my artwork (although sometimes with a sharp eye for constructive criticism), demanding that I strive for perfection.

We understood each other – often words weren’t necessary. When I saw his eyes dance and the corners of his mouth turn up slightly, I knew I had completed a work of art, and I’d run back to my drawing table anxious to do another drawing. He didn’t know that much about sculpture, or very much about tools as he had studied to become a painter.

But when at age 10 I asked for nails and wood and told him I wanted to build robots that had to be taller than me, Dad found the wood and nails and gave me his hammer. He said, “O.K.,see what you can do.”

I saw Dad’s exquisite paintings and drawings around the house and always felt sad that he left his art career (economics was the unfortunate reason). I knew how much he loved it; he always kept his special oil paint case and easel around even though he hadn’t painted in years. When I went to college he gave me his precious wooden oil paint case and easel and said, “Nancy, carryon where I left off…”.

Ever since then I carried his paint box with me for good luck – through college, graduate school, then on to my own studios after that, until I decided to build a tribute to my father, revolving around his very special oil paint case.

I gave him a new wooden paint case complete with paints, easel and canvases for Christmas1979. (He was so excited about it, he started to think about what he wanted to paint.) I gave him the set because I thought that since he was at home, sick, maybe he could start painting again. He died before he had a chance to use it. I requested (and the request was granted) that the new oil paints, brushes and box be buried with him.