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The Declination of Fatherhood

Family Portrait 2015

Acrylic on wood, 32" x 48"

By Bobby Padilla

I'd like to think I've done right by my sons, but who knows? My opinion doesn't really count. So, I guess it's safe to say the jury is still out? I mean what really determines a "successful father"? I wouldn't know. I never had a Dad as a measuring stick or example to which I could compare and contrast. Thus, my perspective is skewed. I'm not fishing for sympathy or pity, that's not the point. I guess as parents we ask open ended questions to the universe hoping that by chance we might get some sort of ethereal affirmation. If only, right?

Spaghetti Trance

By Bobby Padilla

The answers form slowly over decades and rarely with clarity or understanding.

My Boys, A Dream within a Dream

Mixed Media on Glass and paper clay frame, 28" x 42"

By Bobby Padilla

As a father of two teenage boys, I feel every decision is a wrong one. They know more at 19 and 16 than I do at 49. A scenario played over ad nauseam throughout the ages. Don't get me wrong, I am acutely aware of how much of a pain in the ass I was between 15 and 20 years old. Starting with my Mother-in-law, there's a long list of testifying witnesses.

Splash Time with Tio

Oil Pastel on Chalkboard, 18" x 24"

By Bobby Padilla

None the less, I have no Dad for a sounding board, which is fine. I no longer search for affirmation because I knew long ago, I would never have it.

The Boys and Their Bunny

Acrylic on Chalkboard, 18" x 24"

By Bobby Padilla

So having that as a qualifier, it was important that artistically, I've documented the life and times of my boys through various stages of their lives, vital to me, and not to them...yet. There are hundreds of pictures that are archived digitally in hard drives that accurately capture their lives and their development from boys to young men. However, there are paintings that encapsulate moments of their childhood as interpreted by me and my paints.

Roughhousing in a Tube 2006

Mixed Media on Chalkboard, 30" x 40"

By Bobby Padilla

So I'm sharing some paintings that document some 19 years of fatherhood. It's an ongoing series that'll take me my whole life to finish. Who knows, if I do this body it's due diligence, perhaps the day will come when my sons will truly understand what it means to be immortalized in paint, to be a subject of art.

Well it's Father's Day, so I have a grill to tend to and a family feed. If you are fortunate enough to have a Dad this weekend, give him an extra long squeeze, have a catch, or share a ball game with him. Know that while he may not be your entire light of day (that honor is reserved for a Mother's love) he is the North Star, a fixed position that is the source of guidance when things are dark and the path you're on isn't clearly marked towards that promising destination. He is the beacon that shines above the multitude of stars that pacify but rarely provide direction in a child's wandering journey through life.

Emile 2018

Acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24"

By Bobby Padilla

I may not have accomplished much in my life, for that too, the jury is in deliberation. At the end of my day, when I lay my head down, I know my greatest achievement is that two young men call me DAD, and it's a title that I am most proud of.

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