The salutation “Mr. Schaller” came from my daughter’s twelve year old friend. It sounded like nails on a chalkboard and my hearing aid was on max volume. No, I don’t wear a hearing aid but when I hear “mister,” I feel like I should. I usually respond to “hey” or, “yo” and of course “Jeff.” Depending on who is in the room, I will usually respond to Dad too. For some reason “dad” doesn’t have the same old age connotation as mister does. I guess it is respectable and nice to hear some kids actually being polite when addressing adults. Another one of my daughter’s friends addressed me as “the famous artist,” I told Briana, my daughter; she has a good friend there.
My kids are growing up and I’m just getting older so I want to capture this special time with them. Once again as I do every year, I photograph them and turn the image into a silkscreen for the back of my paintings. It is a way for me to mark the time and enjoy their smiling faces on the back of all my artwork. I started this in 2004 as a way to date my paintings. Back then there were only two kids, now there are 3 smiling bobble-heads on the back of each painting. Every year I silkscreen the image onto a wall in my studio to keep a record of each picture. I’m sure as they grow older it will be harder to get them to all be in one place at the same time.
After watching and hearing my daughter talk to her friends, I’m sure there will be hair and make up time needed. I can see this simple way to capture a memory becoming a task. But I’m happy right now immortalizing this age on the back of a painting. So for now, I’ll take the pictures as they grow older and hopefully I’ll be answering to grandpa, way later. I’m still getting used to “mister” and even “sir.”