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Happy Fathers Day

Michael Binkley and Ross Binkley with Carrara marble block

I would like to salute my father, Ross. He has been the quintessential paternal figure to me all my life. He has taught me so many valuable lessons that have helped me to make the success that my own life is today. Learning the value of working with your hands is one such lesson that has helped me with my career as a stone sculptor. I will forever be grateful for his love and support.

There was however, a point in my life that he did not approve of. I recall my wanting to host my very first exhibition of sculptures. I was 21 and still living with my parents. I approached them to ask if I could use the living room and dining room  as a show space. They both agreed, and my mother was very enthusiastic. My father, not so much; he was not impressed with my dabbling in the notion of becoming an artist full time. He felt that I should pursue a “real job” and relegate art to a hobby.

At the close of the show, I showed him my sales receipts – the result of a very successful event. From that point on, my father has been one of my biggest supporters. He has attended almost every one of my exhibitions, even though now he and my mother live in another province.

In 2006, he showed his support of me and my work by offering to travel to Pietrasanta, Italy to assist me in beginning work on one of the four major commissions I had. Due to many setbacks, we could not begin work on “Winds of War – The Presentation to Paris”, as we had planned. A few months after our return to Canada, the above photo is us standing in front of the five ton block of Carrara marble that became that sculpture. My father assisted by removing the stone from around the figures’ heads.

My father is in his seventies. I hope I can fulfill his lesson to live young as long as you can…

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