Some of my dad's work

Below are some artworks by my father that can be found in his house. Apologies must be made for the bad quality of the photos, reflections etc. I hope to document the work properly on a forthcoming visit. The first is a pastel drawing of me aged maybe 7, that we came across in an old sketch pad. My father made both my sister and I sit for him for these. We both hated it at the time, now I kind of admire his ability to get a seven and nine year old to sit still long enough to do anything worthwhile.
Below is a painting of a longtime family friend. My dad pointed out that this picture is unfinished. The little metal eyelets in the shoes are unpainted.

The next two are portraits of two brothers, George and Jim Bartlett, who lived up the road when we moved to the neighborhood. I remember them taking long slow walks on the road. A few times I recall riding to their very dark ramshackle house on dirtbikes with my friend who lived in the area year round. In my memory they gave us storebought pink fluffy marshmallowy cookies with shredded coconut on top. Occasionally George would knock on the door to my dad's place and come in. All work on the house would cease – which never happened – and my dad would sit with him at the kitchen table while he rolled cigarettes and told stories about the old days. I remember these involving beaver trapping at the stream below our house. His New Hampshire accent was so thick that I had trouble following his words. I was a little scared of these guys.


This drawing was done from a photo my dad took at a nearby county fair. When I was young and the drawing was still on my dad's easel, the photo clipped to the side for reference, I thought this boy was the coolest kid on the planet. A smaller version of this piece hangs in the New Hampshire Statehouse.

As toddler, before the house was finished enough to move in, I slept in a crib my dad made, with these carved and painted wooden animals. Such a piece would never have passed review by the child safety commission, with all its awkward openings for little legs and heads to get stuck in. But I survived it.




The most recent of these pictures is dated in the mid eighties. But my dad has photos of another local – Red Landry, who runs an auto wrecking yard up the road – and talks about his intention to do a portrait of him in the present tense.
Anders Nilsen