56 x 97cm
Bus Stop
22" x 38", acrylic, 2002

The idea for this painting came to me while I was standing at this bus stop in the summer of 2001. I was waiting for the bus when I noticed a procession of ants on the sidewalk just a few inches from my feet. I found it sad that they could never experience anything on a higher level other than their banal existence. On the other hand, I realized how lucky they were that they did not have to go through the trials and tribulations that humans have to go through. You see, this was around the time that my father started losing his eyesight and was waiting for the hospital to call him to set a date for his eye operation. This is where I got the idea of doing a painting of my father from an ant's point of view.

A few days before asking my father to pose for me, he came down with a severe case of shingles. He thinks the shingles was caused by stress brought on by the state of his deteriorating vision and anticipation of the hospital calling him. Luckily, the hospital called and his eye operation was a success. It took about a month before the effects of the shingles on his body would subside and I would ask him to pose for me again. I thought it would be clear sailing from that point on. I was wrong. This time, it was the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center towers that postponed the start of the painting. I was so shocked for the next couple of days that it took away my desire to paint. It took at least a couple of weeks for me to get back onto the horse and into the groove again.

Painting the electrical pole and wires was rather straightforward and problem free. The difficult part of the painting was getting the skin tones of the subjects to blend in rather subtly and not clash with the brown and blue colors of the pole and sky. Over the next several months, I must have redone the skin tones of my parents at least three times. The skin tones ended up being too pink, too orange, or too drab. On the fourth try, I finally got a perfect balance of pinks, oranges, and umbers. Satisfied with the results, I started painting the third person in this painting, Fiorella.

Fiorella is one tough cookie. Watch out! She says what comes into her mind. She kept pulling my leg for the past three or four years asking me when I was going to put her in a painting. Not to be outdone, I kept telling her I envisioned her in a particularly uncomplimentary painting. We had fun with that for a couple of years. I think she was truly surprised when I finally asked her to be in a painting. Of course she came dressed in this fancy top just to complicate my life! Love those sunglasses though. Very Audrey Hepburn/Jackie Kennedy like. Really fits her well. Her presence on the right side of the painting complements the pole on the left side, colors and all.

The moon was the final piece of the puzzle. Its presence in conjunction with the sky's lighter blue shade in the top right corner, suggesting the sun's presence barely out of frame, finally balances out the painting. You can feel the harsh presence of the sun in the painting.

Coin Detail
I have done paintings of my mother and father in the past but I have never done a painting of them together. It was time for me to immortalize them as a couple. Sometimes the most irrelevant and trivial act like picking up a nickel from the pavement is all that is necessary for me to define them. Lastly, my parents are clad in character revealing clothing. My mother, the cat lover, is sporting a t-shirt with the picture of a cat and inscription stating, "One Can Never Improve on a Cat". My father, the golf lover, is wearing a cap with the inscription, "Golf is Life". I think that sums it all up.

Light Detail
Moon Detail

Mom Detail
Dad Detail

Pole Detail
Fiorella Detail