My grandpa used to paint houses in his home, small knick-knacks I came to love growing up. Having them decorated underneath our tall pine tree in December my favorite thing to do at Grandma and Grandpa's house was to play with the toy train set that drove through my grandpa's self-painted town. As I got older, my grandpa got older too. While he still loved painting his houses, it pained him to set up the town every year. One Christmas there was no town to be seen under the tree, and for awhile it stayed that way. As time went on the houses eventually did come back for one more year, and thus then were divided among us grandchildren as we all held fond memories with Grandpa's creations.
Looking back, I never realized how much of a good man my Pa was, nor did I realize how much of an artist he really was. Having painted more than just tiny houses for pleasure, my grandpa used to create sketches and actually paint canvases himself. However, my grandma told me that he found his work to never be 'good enough'. That's a struggle that I identify with, too. To never fit his standard, and thus quickly be thrown into the trash. My grandma always believed in him, though, and having seen my own artwork beforehand offered me his old smock. I was honored to take it and seeing the splotches of paint against the bright red smock made me feel as though I had a new connection with my Pa.
Now a staple in my wardrobe whenever I paint, I use my grandpa's smock as a source of not only inspiration, but also as a resource of not getting paint on my clothes. I believe my grandpa would be proud of me and the work I've created if he could see it today, and he'd be even more proud that he and I share the same interest and drive for creative endeavors.