my father’s pictures

Shortly after the death of my father, I received two packages from him, very well organized. Attached to each was a description of the contents. Each contained over a hundred drawings, sketches, and paintings, in color and black and white. Some were in blue and white, drawn with a ball point pen. Some were drawn with colored pencils. Some with plain pencils. Some were watercolors. In most but not all cases, the subjects of the drawings and paintings were familiar to me. I found scenes from many of his vacation spots, from his favorite haunts. Drawings of his favorite table, his book shelves, a favorite silver platter with fruit on it; a shelf with a clock that he and my mother had in their home; a view of the neighbors’ house, and a view of the house across the street. Views of forgotten corners in old houses where he had once lived. And a few pictures of people. A few pictures of my mother. It was really hard to recognize her, but there were tell tale signs that erased doubt. There was a painting of myself, from when I was a very young man. I was standing on a raft in a river, with a pole in my hand, seemingly steering my way down the river.

my father in his 90s, eating breakfast on his balcony

I had seen some of the pictures. I had heard about them over the years. And my mother had spoken to me about them. My father hardly ever talked about his drawings and paintings. They weren’t something he showed his friends.. He was a scientist and a scholar. He had invented certain instruments which were used in space research. He used to sleep a lot, something I was very aware of, because I was usually satisfied with five hours a night. He didn’t like to work long hours. After a few hours work, he had to take a walk to ‘think things out’. Yet he managed to produce a very impressive amount of work. He liked sweets but didn’t eat much. He read and wrote many languages, but didn’t like to read long books. He told me once, “I have tried never to read a book longer than 300 pages. If you can’t say it in 300 pages, what’s the point in going on and on”. He read slowly. Many of the books he read had less than 150 pages. And he would often stay on the same page for the longest time, contemplating the meaning. I got to know him best when he was conversing with students and friends. But in later years we had many conversations, in which I became acquainted with sides of him that usually were hidden. He was the most modest person I have ever met in my life.

cows grazing in the Swiss mountains, a reoccurring theme

My mother loved his pictures, and occasionally would suggest that he show them to someone. There were times when she wanted to hang one on the wall. He would always refuse, and explain that they weren’t art. They were kept in drawers of a closet in their bedroom. Once when they were older, she asked that he give her one of his pictures. He said, they all belong to you. Then she said, I want a couple that will be just mine. He said, choose whatever you want. She picked a few. One of them was of a cabin where they had vacationed a number of times, on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. She had it framed and hung it in their dining room.

the vacation cabin at Kinar

After his death, as I looked through the many pictures, I realized for the first time, what they were for him. They were his visual diary of pleasant times in this world. He would draw or paint the same scenes, the same places, over and over again, in different weather… in different light… sometimes seeing the same things in a different mood. It reminded me of my own personal photography, though he had never discussed this practice with me, and I hadn’t seen most of his drawing and paintings before he died in old age. He had photographed too, but I had seen only a few of his photographs.

the pond in the Wohl Rose Garden

Among his pictures, were pictures of places where we’d visited together. We used to walk to the Wohl Rose Garden, opposite the parliament in Jerusalem, and often we’d sit by the side of the pond and gaze at the water, the birds that visited, and the children that would walk by. I had photographed the pond many times, and one of my earliest pictures of the place also found it’s way onto one of the walls of my parents’ dining room. How interesting it was to study the scene through his eyes. The place looked starker than I had seen it. I could see that that his images were like notes, reminding him of things that had been in his mind, ideas and impressions, as well as emotions that he had felt on many different occasions.

Yemin Moshe in Jerusalem


119 responses to “my father’s pictures

  1. you’ve composed a great tribute to your father!

  2. “…a visual diary.” What a perfect term for what we all do as photographers and artists. The older I get, the more I realize how the images I’ve created and kept over the years, define and document not only my own life – but the lives of those I’ve touched. Where memories falter, photographs perfectly preserve!

    • It’s a very interesting question, Nancy… what makes art… what defines something as art. It seems to me that a very important part of it, is the desire to share with others. And in this case, at least, my father chose these tools to remind himself of certain aspects of life… perhaps they were mementos, but they really weren’t for communication with others. He himself did not see it as art. Thank you very much for your comment.

  3. Thank you for sharing! Beautiful and interesting tale, also quite sad because he is no longer with you. It’s good that the pictures didn’t get lost in time 🙂 It seems he was amazingly artistic inside and that he found a way express it… I think the paintings are very good, showing a fragment of place and time with just the necessary details to set the scene 🙂

    • It is not so sad, ks3nia. He lived a long life. He died an easy death. He knew how to appreciate what was around him, and he worked at what he liked most. Thank you for coming by, and your comment. I visited your blog, and found much to like there.

  4. Good morning Shimon….
    This is such a special post. I love the images….and how wonderful that you now have them and can pass them onto your children and grandchildren….
    Like your Father, I am a very slow reader, and also like to paint the same thing over and over again…..maybe there is a correlation here.

    What a fascinating human being. Thank you….and of course big hug for Nechama:)x

    • Thank you very much, Janet. I think a lot of people have some very stereotypical images in their heads about creative or successful people. I have always found people very fascinating, and as it happened, I had the advantage of knowing some really exceptional people. It is strange now, to tell of my parents, after both of them are gone… in many ways, it seems as if the world they lived in is gone too.

  5. I forgot to say, that the watercolours have such clarity….they appear to be as fresh now as they were when your Father painted them.

    • You are such a sweetheart, Janet. You know, I have read your comments for years, and you always have something very beautiful to say about every person’s attempt to put an image on paper. I am smiling as I say this. Thank you for your kindness.

  6. What a wonderful way to record a diary – a lifetime seen through colour and sketches.

  7. Very touching. Thank you for sharing these special drawings and special thoughts.

  8. How privileged you are to have been left such a beautiful and amazing legacy! I really think that your father was a very talented artist. I love the serene scenes he captured and I would be very proud to have any of them hanging on my wall. Enjoy!

    • Thank you, Fatima, for your very kind comment. It is quite a challenge for me to describe him, though I knew him very well. For him, these pictures were very personal… and when I look at them, I see him, even more than the scenes they depict.

  9. I think this confirms that you never really know your parents until they are gone, and unfortunately you cannot then ask them the questions you should have asked.

    • As it happens, I knew my father very well, and intimately. But, even so, I did see him a little differently after he died. Still there were no questions, that I wanted to ask after he was gone. He lived a very long life, and we had a long friendship too. Thank you very much for your comment. It is a pleasure to hear from you, Harry.

  10. Wonderful story. It’s interesting how we sometimes get to know our parents better after they are gone than when they were here.

    • Thank you, Jordan. In my case, I knew him about as well as one human being can know another. But even so, I think I understood him better after he left. Thanks for the comment.

  11. Absolutely beautiful post. I love the idea of a visual diary. I take photos for that reasons and regret the pre-digital days when I didn’t take so many photos. Your father had a very lyrical eye. How beautiful to parcel them up, My mother was an active amateur artist. We had the heartbreaking task of going though mountains of her paintings, sketches and art projects and selecting them on the basis of quality. We couldn’t keep it all. Only my sister and I were even interested, my brother disdained the whole thing and would have thrown them all away. Slithygimble (Starr from

    • How nice of you to come by, Starr, Very glad to see you. And yes, it’s a very good way to remember what we’ve gone through in life. My father’s style in painting and drawing was very similar to his style of communication, and so, looking at these pictures, I am reminded most of him. Thank you very much for your comment.

  12. such a beautiful post Shimon. Thanks for sharing!!

  13. Coming here and having the pleasure of reading your stories is a privilege I cherish Shimon. To know another who has lived and passed on is sacred. How very precious it must be to be the recipient of your father’s lifetime of art work. They are beautiful. Priceless. Your father obviously found much pleasure and meaning in creating them. And it made an impression on me that he would do the same scenes over and over in different lighting and weather. And that he would pause for a long while just to reflect on a page he was reading. I don’t know why but I find that a special rarity that we must all try to preserve in our own lives. To truly see and penetrate the deepest realms of understanding. Thank you for sharing this with us. And in so doing, I believe like your father, you are capturing in words, a life, a way of life and a piece of our humanity. Warmest wishes, Sharon

    • Thank you so much for your very beautiful comment, Sharon. I agree with you, that getting to truly know another human being is awe inspiring. In my case, he was my first teacher, and later in life, we had the great pleasure of becoming friends. Because he was a man who dealt with abstractions most of his life, it was all the more impressive to see these delicate appreciations of the world around him. I’m very glad you enjoyed the post.

  14. Wonderful tribute to your father … and (at least to me) seemingly in your father’s style. Many thanks for sharing …. and I’m glad for return trip to here was for this post.

  15. What a beautiful post and beautiful memories. Your father sounds like he was a wonderful man who enjoyed the simpler things. His work is beautiful.

    • Both my father and I lived through some great storms… and some of the memories are very hard to bear. And though his work was of great complexity, he did have a longing for the simpler things. Glad you enjoyed the post, Edith.

  16. orlando gustilo

    Genes! Our interests, skills, predilections, on top of the very physical body we move and think with, show the continuity of “life” from generation to the next. Traditions, we call some of this, intuition, others, nameless unknowable forces that shape our perception, conation and the actions we take. But we also add our own spin to what we are given and through this add to the forces that shape the universe.

    • So true, what you say, Orlando. I see that you understand what lies beneath the conventions. So many years have passed since I was a young boy, and he tried to prepare me for the complexity of this life, and all its cruelty. I resented him then for his demands and expectations… and have since raised children of my own, and now watch grandchildren as they make their way through this life… and what you say, is what runs through my mind as I watch it all unfold. Thank you for your comment.

  17. This remembrance is so beautifully and sensitively written…I am so taken by it because I am so intrigued by journals, and archives. You must know that by now. What a rich gift your father entrusted to you, when indeed, he had been so private about his creations over time. You were and are blessed.

    • Yes, Painter Lady, I am blessed, and am grateful for this time I’ve spent in this world, and all I’ve learned, and all I’ve seen. And that I’ve been able to continue the stream of life, and see it continue after me. There is much to be grateful for, despite the tests and the tribulations. There is a riddle too, that leaves us awe stricken by the infinite greatness, and so much we can’t understand… but it is very good to have had a piece of the action. Thank you very much for your kind comment.

  18. What a beautiful, heartwarming post, Shimon! Your father captured his memories in drawings, where as you might with photographs and I do with words. The photograph of him that you included was wonderful. I wish that I had such a pleasant picture of either of my parents in their advanced years. What I loved most about your father is that while having a very scientific and disciplined mind, he also had an artistic side that shows some talents as well. I think that we all have dual natures, though in most of us one is perhaps more dominant or at least more observable. It says much about your father that he cherished these places so much that he took the time and effort to study and capture them on paper. Such amazing keepsakes you’ve been given… and then I think of the wonderful volume of photography and writing that you have accumulated to pass down to your children and grandchildren. This is what heritage is all about, and they are blessed by your efforts to capture what is good in life!

    • Thank you very much, Jose, for your kind comment. Yes, what you say is quite true. I see the same disciplined mind in his drawings and paintings, that was part of him in everything he did… but there is also a graciousness in his appreciation of the environment around him, and that reminds me of the longings he had for peace and simplicity. As an old man now, I see that everything changes with time… but there are some threads of continuation from one generation to the next.

  19. What a gift to get,Shimon.I especially liked the sketch of the pond..I see you have inherited a gift from your father who looks so happy on that photograph.Happy memories I hope for the times you sat with him

    • Yes, that pond is a place where I’ve spent a lot of time, watching the waters, and the frogs frolic and play. We often sat together there. I’ll have to publish a photo of the place one of these days. Thank you for your comment, Mary.

  20. How lovely that your Dad kept all of his art and sent them to you after his death.
    He sounds a real character and you obviously inherited his brains. How wonderful to have invented something!!!
    I love that painting of the grazing cows.xxxxx

    • He loved cats, but I think he loved cows just as much, Dina. He would often talk to them, and he was able to share their peace in some way. There were many pictures of cows among his paintings. And you know, I never wanted to be anything like him… but now that I’m an old man, I look into the mirror sometimes, and think I’m looking at him. Glad you liked the post. Thanks.

      • I think the reason I liked this post so much was because I know how you felt about your Father growing up and yet you talk so sweetly and kindly of him. A real grace.xxxxx

  21. How amazing. All art should be somewhat of the theme of your dad’s. I’ve always thought Rembrandt had a great love for people which allowed him to depict them so magnificently. I’ve also wondered if it was almost impossible for him to lie as he depicted people so truthfully even when it got him into trouble! 🙂

    I always hated Vincent van Gogh’s work until I saw it person, now I can say that I’ve never seen anything like it.

    My dad’s sacred things are his Civil Engineering books and drawings. He loved engineering!

    My dad just got out of the hospital which has led me to think about how life could be without my best friend. No one has ever had my back like my dad. It is hard to see him struggle with seizures and forgetting what to say. He is an unbelieveable fighter which in some ways makes his situation worse as he will not accept he has anything wrong with him.

    A touching gift your dad left you.

    • It is very moving to me, to hear that your father is your best friend, That is a very precious experience, no matter how long it lasts… and I’m sure it brings great happiness to the both of you. Yes, it’s hard to see the depletion of strength, and the difficulties of old age and infirmity. But sometimes that are amazing recoveries. Don’t despair. And take advantage of all the time you can have together. Sometimes, we have to put aside the contexts that we associated with someone, and fine new areas of common experience and enjoyment. Play the music he used to like. That will give him spiritual sustenance. My best wishes for a complete recovery.

  22. Reblogged this on Rites of the Image and commented:
    A fascinating post with lovely images

  23. I enjoyed this very much. The love of the visual is clearly something you share with your father. What a delightful photo of him, obviously still so lively in his 90s.

    • I am so glad you liked this, Gill. I remember the beautiful pieces of your father’s journals that you shared with us… so you know what it is like. We’ve had that experience in common… of looking at the mementos of a full life, and remembering things that have gone by. Yes, there is a consolation in having our lives interwoven with the lives of our parents… thank you for your comment.

  24. These are so beautiful Shimon. I feel very privileged to have seen them. What an amazing man your father must have been.

  25. What a sweet legacy! You are very blessed to have this and we are, in turn, for you to share it with us. Shabbat Shalom.

    • Thank you very much, Anne. As you can imagine, the legacy I have received from my parents is more than I could ever recount. And I am truly grateful for it all. Glad you liked the post, and my best wishes for a shavuah tov. May we be blessed with good news and light hearts.

  26. What a treasure! Just as his painting and your photography give a glimpse into your favorite moments in life, my writing tends to lean that same direction. We all leave behind pieces of our life in some form for others to enjoy and cherish. You could tell from the twinkle in his eyes that he enjoyed life!

    • Yes, Gypsy Bev, it is that twinkle in his eyes that I like to remember. And I agree with you, in looking back, it’s those trips, and special adventures, like the ones you write about, that are the most significant memories of this life that we lead. And how wonderful it is, to remember them happily. Thanks.

  27. this moved me, especially that your father made a point to prepare the drawings, sketches and paintings to be delivered to you after his death … my interpretation of this act of generosity is that your father desired you to know him at his most basic level, by sharing something that was very close to his heart …his “visual diary” created a tapestry of memories, and it was his desire that you might share in his delight and appreciation of those ordinary moments that were elevated to treasured moments in time … when he captured them in ink or pencil or watercolor or through the lens of a camera, and he ended up giving those moments to you, he was sharing his love in a very deep and meaningful way … our actions often transcend what our voices fail to convey, and this demonstration of his love for you really warmed my heart … these tangible memories of your father are beautiful and delicate and stark and rough, and truly provide a welcome glimpse into a man who had many layers to share with the world.

    thank you for allowing us a chance to see this man, and his memories

    • I also meant to say that your photo of your father, at the top of this piece, allows this story to come around full circle … your ability to capture his essence through the lens of the camera, and your willingness to share this image, accompanied by some of his own art (and, yes, I believe it to be art) … well, that is a perfect example of the essence of someone being transmitted from both sides of the camera lens … it makes me glad to know you, and glad to have had the chance to see him through your eyes.

      • I really appreciate this addition to your comment. As I’ve felt before, you have that uncanny ability to chase after the essence, as I do too. Yes, that picture is one of my favorites… I had a free hour in the morning, and just dropped in to my parents, and he was glad to see me, and I managed to capture that moment… and it stays with me as a happy memory.

    • Thank you very much, N, for your comment. Yes, there are so many sides to a person… and especially when we meet them as children, and they have all the authority, the strength, and seem to know everything… it is hard to appreciate how life has affected them long before we arrived. My father suffered a lot, as did I, those many years ago… and against all odds we both managed to reach old age. And now I am grateful to contemplate these memories on paper… which are better than others.

      • adjusting our memories to include space for “how life has affected them long before we arrived” can be such a challenge; when we expand our view to try to factor in what we’ve learned about them as we’ve moved down the path of life, we find ourselves viewing everything we know through a more well-rounded lens, and even though we never may know the complete picture, it does help us let go of some of the pain

        I know this will perhaps sound rather silly coming from someone who has no knowledge of portraiture or even basic photography, but I believe the photo you took of your father could never have been taken if you had not already learned something about letting go of old memories, and making room for new memories … knowing this in my heart makes the photo that much more precious, and pure … and again, I thank you for sharing this glimpse into your life … (both the before, and after) … it is a beautiful thing to witness the evolution of understanding

        • Nothing you say, sounds silly to me, N. I have gotten to know you a bit, if only through the written word, and reading between the lines. I have two things to say, though, in answer to your comment. First, I want you to know that my father wasn’t the original source of my problems in childhood. Both he and I were hit by a cruel fate, and he didn’t handle it well, and that made it a lot worse for me. But it wasn’t really his fault. And secondly, when you get really good, at a profession, or at an art, it doesn’t really matter who you’re working with. If I was a surgeon, it wouldn’t matter whether I liked the patient or not, so far as how the surgery went. His portrait is the same. It’s just good work, and it has nothing to do with my feelings about him. Thank you very much for your comment. I do value your comments.

  28. wonderful account and I must say, very lovely drawings too.

  29. You have an amazing heritage, thanks for sharing some of it.

  30. You have painted a beautiful portrait of your father here. His artwork is a beautiful journal of his journey. The photo of him shows his thoughtful humility. I admire art in all forms, having only my words to express myself. I respect his need to protect his drawings and paintings. I tend to do that with my writing. Sometimes our journey is harsh, and we need to protect parts of ourselves that are precious or tender.

    • Yes, Ann, I think you understand very well. Perhaps today, it’s a little different. The modern thought is not to hold things in, and to tell others even the most intimate experiences, but our upbringings were different… and before the internet, many people kept a private journal… some talked to maker, and in Hebrew we used to have a saying, ‘writing for the drawer’. Meaning that a person would pour his heart on the page, and then put it in his drawer. I think that’s the way my father felt about these works. I appreciate and thank you for your understanding.

      • Yes, Shimon. I have a drawer. Some today do not understand the need for this privacy. I do, and thank you for your sharing of this. Some things are between the person and Maker. Some things do not need to be spoken aloud, some not at all.

  31. How honored I feel to see some of your father’s creative impulses and memories translated through his sketches and painting… what holy treasures these are, Shimon! He sounds like a gentle man and a contemplative, deep and still and gifted. Like his son. Thank you.

    • Thank you Kitty. It’s true. These drawings remind me of him much more than the places they describe. And how typical, I suppose, that I found it hard to live up to his expectations, and thought I would be very different from him… but now as I too have grown old, I often see the similarities. Well, Mark Twain wrote about that long before I did. Thank you for your comment.

  32. This is such a moving post. I’m not an artist but I love the drawings. The post made me wonder whether it’s better to get a new glimpse into our parents after their death or while they’re still alive? I don’t have an answer. I felt so much after reading it. Thanks.

    • You ask a very interesting question, Rachel. I believe that it is always better to reach the very best understanding while our parents are still alive. Though it’s not always possible. In my case, because my father lived till a great old age, I got to know him very well. But still, I saw him a little differently after he had gone. Thank you for your comment.

  33. Wonderful post and images Shimon. Wonderful. How intriguing your first line is “shortly after my father’s death I received two packages from him, very well organized.” Maybe “intriguing” isn’t the right word… but something quite beautiful and striking. Your father has said so much here. And you in turn. An exchange of gifts.

    • Thank you very much for your comment, Chris. As you know, I love your writing, and your personal expression. We are a very small people, and our language is almost unknown in the world at large… and so, when speaking to others, we always have to translate. When I look at these pictures, I think of my father expressing himself, in those private moments, in a universal manner, one that anyone could understand… even if the pictures were kept in a drawer.

  34. Wonderful drawings and I am sure a wonderful reminder of a moment in time.

  35. I like your father’s attitude to his beautiful and heartfelt works – they obviously represented a lot to him, and perhaps retained their power for him by remaining private. That’s quite a gift to bestow.

    • Yes, Richard… when I was young, long before the internet, it was quite common for people to write or draw, and never to show it to anyone. It was the most personal expression, a little like praying. Of course, times have changed… in many ways for the better, I suppose. Thanks for the comment.

  36. Oh my Shimon! What a wonderful thing to have been left for you. He certainly doesn’t look 90. My Dad is more physical, and less artistic. I’ve told you about him in my blog. At 99, he’s still going strong. I remain amazed, and in fear of living that long. 😉 I hope this encourages you to do such a thing for your children. I forget how many and what gender you have. My legacy is almost finished, and each of my children will get an External Hard Drive filled with photos and things I’ve written. I’m in the new world now. Ha.
    Can’t remember which blog but you mentioned transferring music to digital and I’ve done that too. It’s kept me and my mind still fairly alert, but the memory loss that I feel daily is horribly disturbing. Almost all of my reading has been in medicine and science. I can count on one hand the books I’ve read. And, no, I feel no shame about that. My curiosity is still massive. 😉
    Hope your spring is filled with beautiful blossoms and wonderful odors.

    • It’s strange, Bob… how sometimes we don’t ever think of what must be obvious to others. Once, years back, before a trip abroad, I made out a will, and thought of leaving my most intimate belongings to my children… I remember writing that my pen was for one, and a camera was for another… and it didn’t occur to me to leave them any of my writings or pictures. Thank you for reminding me of something I should have thought of years ago. That’s what friends are for. And thank you for your good wishes. Spring is just around the corner, and I am looking forward to it.

  37. Thank you for sharing such an intimate gift with us, Shimon…sharing things that even you hadn’t known about your father while he was alive…. I hope these images and drawings brought about good memories of your father…of your childhood, too, bright spots of happiness, maybe….

    • Yes, both my father and I went through some terrible hardships, when I was just learning to live in this world… and so it is good to look at these pictures of what is beautiful in the world, and remember that when you’re looking for beauty, there’s always some to find. Thank you very much for your comment, my friend.

      • I’ve read much on the hardships faced by your people during the last century, Shimon, and it saddens me to understand that they included you and your father…I am encouraged, though, by your wisdom and ability to search for and find Beauty where it exists. Thank you again, dear friend.

  38. shalom Shimon,
    I like your little essay about the problems of a “free-thinker”, your father memories, your stories about your cat and many more articles – your:

    • I can understand your going back and checking our my earlier posts, Dietmar, because that is exactly what I’ve been doing… reading your earlier posts, since we’ve gotten to know one another. Ah, isn’t it amazing, the possibilities of the computer and the internet… and like spirits, we can cross the continents to shake hands and share our impressions. Thank you.

  39. As your father’s child, I’m sure you count these paintings as drawings as a great gift your father willed to you. I would rather have something like that than money or land. Thank you for sharing some of them.

    • I am very grateful, that my hopes and dreams have come true for the most part. I suppose, like the story I heard in America, about giving a man a fish, or a fishing rod, my father, who was a great teacher to me, taught me skills that helped me deal with life myself. And so I see this gift as a last gift, a reminder to appreciate the beauty in this world. And again I’m grateful. Thank you so much for your comment, yearstricken.

  40. So gorgeous to see his smiling photo, to read more about your parents, and your father’s artwork really appeals to me – love it!

  41. Wonderful tribute, Shimon. Especially pleasing was seeing his view of the pond at Wohl Rose park. I recognize your bench.

    • Yes Bill, sometimes it’s hard to imagine the reality, when you get to know someone on line. We have had the pleasure of meeting face to face, and you have actually walked in this world of mine… what a pleasure. And I’m very glad you liked the post,.

  42. What a joy to read these memories of yours – and what beautiful pictures, subtle and full of thought. How great to be able to make work that continues to share something when you are gone, to be able to give pleasure still, and offer something for people to reflect upon..I think in some ways, keeping his work in a drawer like this is the mark of a true artist, someone who is simply making work for the joy of making it..and it’s wonderful that you can reach some kind of deeper understanding of him by looking through his work. My Grandad was very much the same – I don’t know if you read my post on his work – it’s under the tag “grandad” if you were interested!
    Thanks for sharing this!

    • Much has been written about art, and not everyone is in agreement. But there is agreement on the idea that something may look like art, but if it wasn’t created with the intention of being art, it probably isn’t. My father didn’t see it as art, but my mother did. But it certainly was made for his own pleasure, and it gives others pleasure now. Your Grandad’s art work reminds me of a style that was very popular here, some years back, and I like it. It was widely used in connection with printing, as graphic illustrations and posters. Thank you very much for sharing it with me.

  43. It seems that your father’s drawings are his memories. It’s lovely that you have them.

  44. Very beautiful story and great paintings! Greetings, Ron.

  45. I’m so grateful that you shared this beautiful meditation celebrating the life of your father with us, dear Shimon. Profoundly moving. I love the portrait in both visual and verbal imagery, and I think I would have admired him greatly. Many things you note about your father’s approach to life, study, work, memory, art/illustrated diary–even sleep!–sound very familiar to me, though I can’t begin to claim anything like his accomplishments! If art is necessarily a form of communication with other people, then these windows he provided into the communion with his own memory and thoughts and spirit remain a lovely personal journal. But he had genuine skill and, more importantly, seemed to find the pleasure and thought-provocation and mnemonic powers of the drawing and painting process worthwhile, so what anyone else calls the work is moot. What an excellent life he led. What a wonderful reflection on it, my friend.

    • Thanks for coming by, Kathryn. And I’m glad you liked the post. The more complicated a human being is… and the more he’s done in life, the harder it is to describe him. I’ve read that the way a caricaturist works, is that he find a few characteristic features in the personality he plans to draw, and exaggerates them. Wanting to share my memory of my father, I picked a few things to tell, among them his drawings and paintings.

  46. This is so beautiful. It makes me want to recreate the places I’ve been to on paper 🙂 I can’t really say anything new though. A wonderful tribute, and a gentle peek into the life of a stranger for us 🙂 Thankyou so much for sharing.

    • Thank you very much, SighYuki. You know, when I started blogging, I had similar feelings. If I read a post I really liked, but there was a whole pile of comments, I would defer, and not write anything, because I felt as if everything had been said. But after I started getting a lot, I realized that every person is different… and one can really feel who it is that’s coming across in the comment. And so now, I do try to write something, if I have something to say. I appreciated your comment.

  47. My goodness, I had an amazing flash back, Shimon, when I looked at, and into, the Wohl Rose Garden. I was there at a cold time of year..and it was very, very cool, but, bright with inviting sunshine. It was also Shabbat and we took a long walk in which we ‘found’ the garden and the pond. There were a few leaves lying on the water’s surface. We stood there taking in its total restfulness. We visited the parliament buildings another time and went to have another peek at the rose garden.

    You look just like your dad, and I guess from what you write and do, you have many of his attributes. What a great legacy to have.

    Your father’s ‘diary’ is extraordinary, and from what I see, it is a private and beautiful memoir, which, perhaps now, can be shared a little.

    • I’m very glad to hear you know the pond. It is one of my favorite places here in Jerusalem, and I will post a picture I did of the pond in the near future, just to share with you. And yes, when I was young, I liked to believe that I was just like my mother, and didn’t think I had any similarity to my father. But as I grew older, I discovered that I had inherited quite a bit from him too. And I also learned to understand him a lot better. Thanks for your comment, Menhir.

  48. I would love to see ‘your take’ of the pond. I do not have any pictures of it, myself. It was lovely to share this part of our journey with my husband. the picture evoked dormant memories, even though it was not so long ago.

  49. Wow! This drawings are amazing! The architecture between them is also impressive. You can tell he is a big observer!

  50. wow, is that an unexpected treasure. and i love the 300 page rule.

    • I never subscribed to that 300 page rule. There are some books well worth reading, in my opinion, that are long. And if it’s told well, the longer the better. When I was young I used to search out long books. But each to his own taste, Rich. Thanks for your comment.

  51. What a treasure you’ve been given Shimon. (I know that can’t be news to you!) To not only have grown up in the company of a thoughtful, modest man, but then, years later, to see, as if through the very eyes of your father, what he held in his heart…! Treasure! Thank you for sharing. His paintings are loveliness!

    • Thank you very much, Spree. Actually, I found my father much too demanding as a teacher, but later I realized that he was just as demanding of himself. Most of his students really loved him, but it wasn’t easy growing up with him.

  52. I think you describe yourself in the telling of your father’s story. Having enjoyed an adult friendship with my own mother, I understand the value of it. We were fortunate, you and I, to have enjoyed our parents into their old age. I love the picture of your father here. You are skilled in capturing the essence of a person. I enjoyed his drawings and especially the Yemin Moshe watercolor. A fascinating post, Shimon.

    • Thank you very much, George. I agree with you completely about parents. There is something very special about keeping a relationship that long, and especially about having an adult relationship with a parent. I was always very glad that I was able to reach peace and friendship with my father. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  53. Yemin Moshe and the Swiss cows ring out for me; one is idyllic and the other is intense in the heat of Jerusalem. After my mother’s death, I saw photos of her immediate family that she’d never shown me before and kept in a lidded tin she brought with her from Germany and, in them, I recognised myself. As well, some drawings she had made of her older brother and other items. I did not know she had this skill ‘tho I do recall, when I was a young teenager, how she had tried to get me to draw, unsuccessfully I might add. Photography has been with me since I was ten. A lovely post. Shalom.

    • Strange to me, that you mention the heat of Jerusalem. It is quite rare that it gets hot in Jerusalem, since it’s on a mountain. We have very temperate weather here. And when it is really hot in most of the country, it’s quite peasant here I only got an air conditioner about a year ago. And I have to say, I use it more for heating than for cooling. As for what you say about your mother’s pictures, that is a very painful subject, which I know too well. Thank you very much for coming by, and for your comment. And peace and blessings to you.

      • …the heat of Jerusalem….LOL. I guess all of Israel is hot to me, but, then, I must study the atlas again! Images I’ve seen of Jerusalem always shimmer to me, meaning heat. We have a cool temperate climate in Melbourne too, although recently we had some really hot weather for nearly one week and I was very glad my flat kept me cool (I can’t abide air conditioning) due to the protective presence of much greenery.

        Re our parents’ artistry — yes, seeing my mother’s artwork made me realise she was definitely quite secretive, which I knew anyway, but I felt quite sad I had not seen this work. I’d always wondered why she had tried to encourage me in that regard. I learned a lot of things about her after her death that I’d wished I’d known before….

  54. I didn’t need to see your description, Shimon… your father did a wonderful job… I’m swiss, I live in the Alps… this is a lovely picture!
    My dad was a painter too, an artis in his soul, who loved to traspose his feelings on paper or canvas… an artist of life… and he keeps shine through my heart and memories, even if he’s gone ten years ago…

    • Very happy to make your acquaintance, Claudine, and happy too that you were able to enjoy my father’s paintings. I too had the pleasure of visiting your country, and can well understand his pleasure in watching the cows in their ideal environment. And I am happy for you that the memory of your father still touches your heart. That is such a good thing.

  55. Shimon, what a gift your father left you! He sounds like such an interesting man. Thank you for sharing his story and his talents.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Naomi. Yes, he was a very interesting and unusual man, and I was very grateful that he lived a long life, and that we had the pleasure of becoming good friends as adults. Thanks for the comment.

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