“Worth the Stop” – Third in the WWII Series of Paintings

“Worth the Stop” – 36″x36″ acrylic on canvas.
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2″ x 2″ photo from Dad Nelson’s WWII days

For those who follow my blog, you know that I’ve been working my way through a stack of meaningful (and sometimes mysterious) photos my father-in-law brought home from WWII, and which Dennis and I just discovered a couple months ago. The miniature photo on the left is so dark, I almost passed it by. However, the deeper I looked, the more delighted I was with the few hints available. It revealed a very special European street. Special enough to draw Dad Nelson in to stop and take a photo. The lack of light, color and details in the miniature print served not as a deterrent, then, but as a dare: to take great liberties in bringing it to life in a huge 36″ x 36″ piece.

In the photo, there are two soldiers walking toward the camera. At first, we thought they might be Dad’s brothers (Marvin, who was a chaplain, and Gordon, a tank gunner), because they did meet up with each other on occasion during the war. But Marvin wouldn’t have been wearing soldier’s attire, so we figured out it’s not them. I chose to merely hint at one of the soldiers in the painting (can you find it?) in order to keep the focus on an amazing street which is unlike anything we have in the U.S. This is in keeping with Dad’s original purpose for taking the photo: to capture the beauty. It’s sad to think how many magnificent pieces of architecture were destroyed in the war; I’m glad this setting survived. Oh, how I would love to know the country and location of this street, and visit it myself!

If you missed my first two blog posts in the WWII Series, with paintings and snippets about Dad Nelson’s experiences in the war, you can find them in the Blog section of the Menu (HERE). They are titled “Waiting” and “Back to ‘Normal’.”

Left: Rex and Bea. Middle: brother Marvin. Right: brother Gordon and Rex.
Left: Rex and Bea. Middle: brother Marvin. Right: brother Gordon and Rex.