HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!
My 4 week sabbatical is officially over but the journey is just the beginning. I was given 1 entire month to harness all my time and energy into one focus and that is my father. Although it is stressful going back to the hustle and bustle and 4 weeks’ worth of work waiting on you it was all worth it. This experience was everything I expected and MORE! If I had to describe it I would say it is like going on a hunt for ONE THING and discovering something entirely different and bigger than what you imagined. This project that started off with me cataloging and finding my father’s painting morphed into something much deeper than that! I am even more focused and energized than when this journey was initiated. All my efforts have been paying off and I am excited and thankful for all the people that I have met and reconnected with and who have helped me along the way. I won’t be able to dedicate 100% of my time on my project but I will continue!
As I reflect on all that I have accomplished I am very much overwhelmed, grateful, and excited about what the future holds. I am amazed at the new relationship that I have with my father. As crazy as it sounds, it is as if I am rekindling our father-daughter bond which was quite strong to begin with. Meeting people from all walks of life that have been influenced by my father has been an uplifting and joyous journey. With each person that I have met, it is a mixture of familiarity as they describe their relationship with my dad but there is also something new that I would take away from the interviews/conversations. One person described my father as quiet another adventurous, I related to both. The stories that were shared were funny, some sad, and all intriguing. Let’s not even talk about the art. The more pieces that I find or photos of murals that I see the more I am reminded how effortless his stroke was yet the results were masterful.
During my 4 week journey I traveled to 3 countries, 5 provinces, and over a dozen towns and cities! I enjoyed every moment and opportunity to admire my father’s work and the people that have invested in his talents. I would say one of the stand out moments was driving 3 hours in the mountains of Costa Rica and being able to find one of the first murals my father painted as a young adult. Another exciting moment was meeting family on my father’s paternal side. I met with so many of them and still have more to meet. Finally, being able to visit with my stepmom Barbara and stepsister Buffy was another great memory. My dad was all about family and all about LOVE!
I ended my sabbatical the same place it began and that is in Costa Rica where he called home! I would have never had the opportunity to accomplish so much and build on the momentum of each interaction if it had not been for my employer Charles River granting me this amazing opportunity. I am excited to compile, organize, and catalog all the work that I have researched and gathered in the past month to ultimately share with the world. Starting with the launch of www.oscarthomassr.com
Again thank you to all of those who have supported my journey. If you have a private art piece or have worked with my father in the past, I would love to hear from you. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To stay current with me and my projects, please visit my website at www.tashathomas.org and follow me on Instagram at @dr.tasha.thomas or look up #findingmyfatherspaintings #oscarthomassr
Author Dr. Tasha Thomas
I am excited to share my journey of finding, cataloging, and archiving my father's (Oscar Thomas Sr.) artwork for generations to come.