I Watched My Father

I’m quite fascinated by how, if you alter your perspective on the same event or the same item, it changes the way you experience it. The interesting part of my aqueous conversation is that I build up the colours and the textures over a long period of time. Some of the aqueous ones, like ‘I watched My Father’ tend to look like they are split into two different colours, but it’s actually the same palette used on both sides or both sections or both canvases, it’s just the quantities that are different. The quantity of colour used in each palette varies to create the illusion of a split. The actual materials that I use are exactly the same and I have a few that fit into that category.

‘I Watched My Father’ developed during a short video interview I watched, possibly on Facebook or YouTube, where a story about twin brothers was featured. They were raised by an alcoholic father. Just for some background, I have a complicated relationship with alcohol, so my interest was immediately piqued. One twin grew up never to touch alcohol and when asked why he thought that was, he said, ‘I watched my father.’ The other twin grew up to be an alcoholic and when asked why he thought that was he said, ‘I watched my father.’

It was after this experience that I thought I’d really like the idea of playing with something where you change just something small and the result becomes something so diametrically different. Your outcome is so unique. Very much like the fork in the road kind of thing. You make that small little choice and yet what happens gets amplified.

So I kind of like that idea and that’s what I did with ‘I Watched My Father.’ I tried it in a few different colours, but eventually settled on the yellows and cerulean blue and they, of course, make greens. I chose the aqueous method because I thought whether it’s childhood, marriage or career, just changing a perspective in a small way, you can either see someone as a role model and decide, ‘Ah! That’s who I want to be,’ or you could say, ‘That’s who I don’t want to be,’ and it’s that kind of small choice which is quite a simple decision to make but the outcome is so dramatically different.

That’s the idea I’m playing around with and I feel that we can apply it to many other forms and relationships in our lives. It doesn’t have to be limited to alcohol or parents. I mean, I have a very complicated relationship with my father, so between that and my relationship with alcohol, I just found that both of those spoke to me so my conversation had deep roots there.