Probably the only thing worse than seeing an elder relative when we look in the mirror is hearing our parents’ voice in our head! Today I heard my father’s wisdom which he got either from his Bible Belt upbringing or Dale Carnegie… anything worth doing is worth doing well. Gad I hated hearing that when I was a kid and really at the time thought it was something that would apply only in that moment. I never considered that I might someday be older than he was then as he droned on about doing things well!
The past two days I have been working on the cartoon for a new piece for an upcoming exhibit. Since it is an abstract landscape I sketched and colored the cartoon, enlarged it to fit the size requirement and then some, traced onto acetate, measured the freezer paper and taped together sections to also meet the size requirement, slapped the acetate on the over-head projector, turned on the TV to entertain me while I traced the template and prepared myself to stand solidly on my new knee with bare feet for a good 10-15 minutes to trace. Ah progress…
I was about 1/2 way into it and stood back to look at the design and it was all wonky. I couldn’t make heads or tails of it so I looked at the projector and somehow I had slapped that acetate puppy on the surface backwards. Not just backwards… but upside down and backwards! By now my knee is beginning to serve notice that it is tired but I decided to press on and continue tracing it considering that during construction I would simply remember to turn the pieces upside down and backwards! OK, right.
And then Dad spoke…anything worth doing is worth doing well. OK Dad, I know but I really don’t want to re-do this! I don’t think there is enough paper left on the roll for me to do it. I don’t want to change my clothes and drive to the store to get more freezer paper to re-do it. I could just trace it again on the back side of the paper (and again remember to turn it over). Notice how I am now bargaining with the old boy!
And then I remembered. Why on Earth would I want to make something more difficult for me than it already is? I am basically an undiagnosed dyslexic person. I don’t need more confusion in this picture. And that is when I pulled the box of freezer paper off the shelf, cut a new proper sized piece, taped it together, took down the old one, pinned up the new one, flipped and rotated the acetate to draw it correctly.
He’s been gone just over three months but lives on through these important life lessons. Thanks, Dad!