his paintings – his vision – our connection

yesterday i was sitting on the couch at my aunt sue sue’s and noticed this butterfly painting leaning against the wall, i asked if pop pop had painted it…as i read the words that stretched the bottom of the right side of the painting -a note to my aunt sue… i felt that pull – the stretching feeling within me.

he had painted individual paintings for each of his girls – these paintings spoke to who they were at the moment in time. as i read the message he left her on that painting, my stomach crept up into my throat and i started crying. this is not the first time his paintings have done this to me.

or anything related to him for that matter

there is an intensity of what i felt yesterday - why i do what i do

my pop pop


i was born the oldest of the grandchildren in november of 1985 my pop pop passed away in october of 1987.

while our time together on earth was limited there is something much stronger that keeps us connected. our souls. our vision. our purpose.

i have always carried a piece of him where ever i go – i often imagine the conversations we would have about the meaning of life, the creative process, our visions and how we see the world


somewhere a long the line i inherited his love for art, creativity and people


somewhere a long the line

i came to see, that everything i do is through a similar channel

somewhere a long the line

i embraced this undeniable feeling that washes over me when i have a moment of connection with him

i believe he gave me this gift, this intense passion for creativity and life – anytime i find myself pushing back…i feel him pull me closer

over the recent years i have been more aware of this tug in my heart. as i have been searching…digging – i find meaning.

before i left my aunts, i walked into my aunts office to see my bama sharing with chelsea about another painting

 this white house on a hill

as i looked at the painting – again my stomach crept into my throat, i had never seen this specific piece.

 the birds were there

after we left, i kept saying to chelsea that painting. the birds. it was so intense

my eyes well up thinking about it

there was something so unique about this piece

it spoke to me – there was a connection


i asked my bama about the painting…i want to know more.

“Pop pop had vision just as you do. We were at Beverly shores Indiana high dunes lots of tall grasses. A few gloomy days and out came the paint brushes.

He always saw things a little differently and thus his impression of the place we were staying.

Not a reflection on his mood just the way he saw it.

I have no idea about the white bird but probably to brighten up the sky. He was passionate but simplistic in many ways able to be in any moment. He was able to get from A to C. without worrying about step B”

one of his paintings, and one of mine.


and when i asked about this painting…my bama said “the blue girl has no answer…and if you ask him…he’d probably say why not blue?”
that is certainly…the reasoning i would give
why not do something completely unreasonable?
and that makes me smile from the inside out.


when read his quote, about bill smith… it made me proud to be his granddaughter.

`His work has won practically every major advertising award and had been recognized by major industry organizations,

including the Clio Awards and the New York Art Directors Club. He was widely respected by the Chicago advertising community,

and his work and leadership influenced three decades of advertising and hundreds of creative people.`

Young & Rubicam