Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Art From the Heart

I would like to share with you a wonderful gift from my father to his family.  My dad, Pete Turner, is a retired commercial and fine artist who really does not do much drawing or painting any more.  Once in awhile I get a special card or postcard with his artwork, which I treasure.  If you enter "Pete Turner" in the search text box on my blog page, you can see more examples of his artwork.  This year, my father began a project during our week at Sunset Beach, NC.  My sister-in-law suggested that he make drawings to turn into a coloring book for the great-grandkids. 

The result was a very special book that went not only to the great-grands and grands, but each of his seven children.  I think he made 40 copies in all!  Each contained line drawings in a loose-leaf notebook.

Here is the cover, with a delightful caricature of the artist.




The first page brings back memories of when we moved from the New York area to Cary, North Carolina.  We had a pop-top Volkswagen bus, just like the hippies but without the Flower Power.



I think there is one too many dogs and a few too many kids in that picture!

When my father first began his career as a commercial illustrator in New York, one of his first jobs was to paint Elsie the Cow, the trademark logo for Borden's Dairy Products.  Elsie makes an appearance in the coloring book, as well she should. Part of our family history!



Some of the drawings reflect what Dad was doing at the time...like these sand buckets and shovels that take us back to our beach vacation days.

I am committed to scanning all the pictures eventually, so Dad does not have to keep making hard copies of the pages as new great-grandkids arrive.  My granddaughter, Lily, started working on hers immediately!

Here is another new bit of my father's art.  He has been making Christmas cards every year since he and my mother were married right after WWII.  I heard stories that he used to silk-screen them in the bathtub of our apartment in New York.  Everyone looks forward to his annual Christmas card, wondering what the inspiration will be each year.

This one is a pencil drawing with watercolors added.  I can't tell you how much I love it. 

The retirement community where my father lives in on a very busy highway in Boone, NC.  That these deer find their way to graze outside his window is rather miraculous.  They must know the back way!

Speaking of deer, we have had quite a few sightings lately.  No, not in the many acres surrounding our mountain cabin.  We didn't see even one last weekend.

The last time I took Kasey to the greenway near our neighborhood, we saw four deer cross the trail not ten yards from us.  I had heard them crashing about in the woods, so wasn't too surprised.  But Kasey was on alert long before they crossed.  Yesterday, we went back to the greenway behind Heritage.  When Kasey starting straining at the leash, I thought there might be a deer in the woods. 

Yup.

Can you see her big white ears sticking up to the right of those birch trees?


She stood there and let me take her photograph until I started moving closer.  When she ran off, I saw two white brushy tails running through the woods.  The other one was hiding!

I think they must have followed us home. When Charlie came home from work, there were two deer in our front yard.

And when I opened the garage door to let Kasey out, there were four in our back yard. 

3 comments:

Tonya said...

how awesome to have a book like that....that is a gift you'll never forget

Linda said...

what a wonderful gift! Your dad is very talented.

Anonymous said...

What a true treasure! Last weekend my cousin and I looked through the Christmas cards that my aunt made every year of her long life. What commitment and talent. I can't even get my store bought cards in the mail on time!!

LOVE the coloring book...and, the VW van picture made me laugh out loud! Jill Gooding