After picking up my rental Friday evening I packed my bags and prepared to hit the road early Saturday morning. I picked up my travelling partner and prepared for the 5 hour road trip to Jacksonville, Florida. It was a long trip but a great time to reflect on my journey thus far and reflect is exactly what I did. I expected by 4 week sabbatical leave time to go by quickly so I was very meticulous in my plan moving forward. In doing so, I was able to accomplish an absorbent amount of my personal goals regarding my sabbatical project. Every day was accounted for including the weekend. I was very good and giving myself room for disappointments and new contacts and opportunities regarding my father’s artwork and meeting with individuals who knew and worked closely with my father. The drive allowed me to prioritize my final week 4 and plan moving forward to continue the completion of my project of 2017.
My stepmother and stepsister who I have not seen in years relocated to Central Florida some years back. Social media is a great way to keep into contact with family, friends, and associates but there is nothing like a face to face meeting, that even beats a phone call. I was very excited to see my step mother Barbara and step sister Buffy after so many years! I had a great time with them and it was definitely worth the 10 hour roundtrip drive. We spent most of our time together reminiscing on the good times of my dad’s life and the sad times surrounding my father’s death. It was great being able to catch them up on the family in Miami and Costa Rica and to get updates on their family. One of the most memorable moments were looking through family photos and also capturing the portraits and artwork my father had given my stepmother Barbara during their time together. He painted roses for her for their wedding anniversary, a portrait of her, as well as paintings of her daughters and grandson. There were also paintings from our home in Miami Shores.
I enjoyed having dinner with my extended family and I look forward to more family gathering. There was so many new things I learned about my father that I had not known about. Quirky things that I learned and certain things that I had forgotten about. My other step sister who still resides in Miami provided me with some great leads on where to find my father’s paintings in public spaces. This sabbatical journey has been more about my father’s artwork and paintings. It has been a walk through this entire life and sadly death. It has been an eye opening experience that has changed my life forever. This experience would not have been as fulfilling if it was completed in a piecemeal. Being able to FOCUS and direct all my TIME and ENERGY into my father’s artwork and professional journey as an artist for an entire month has changed me. I feel even more connected to my father and I am excited to share the final product of his cataloged artwork.
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 email@example.com. 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