20" x 20", acrylic, 1999

This is a disguised portrait of my father, but before we get into that, let me introduce you to the beautiful Melanie. She is from Quebec but has a scandanavian look about her. Tall, blond, blue eyed, and healthy, she is the personification of youth.

In contrast, the clock represents my father. It's showing signs of aging. Ten years ago, my father had quadruple heart bypass surgery. The clock's new taped up plug is his repaired heart. Two years ago he started losing sight in one eye and just recently underwent radiation therapy for throat cancer. The crack at the top of the clock symbolizes these latest illnesses.

The clock is an odd collector's item. Originally, I intended to use a standard clock but my friend had this one with the right and left side numbers interchanged and hands turning counterclockwise. They call it a backwards clock. The idea of going back in time is wishful thinking for any aging individual. The nail over Melanie represents something long since gone: youth. The more I talk about this painting the more I realize it is a sad one. Melanie certainly deserves to be in a more uplifting painting.