Ruud Bergmans was born in Holland in 1939. He was number five of seven kids, and he always had an itch to leave his small town and large family. He married my mom, a girl from the town next door who was also ready for an adventure, had three kids, and moved 11 times by the time I got to middle school.
My dad was a banker for 40 years, eventually taking up residence in New York City. But there was always an artist inside of him. Growing up, he invariably found creative project to take his mind off the rat race. Whether building, painting, wallpapering or cooking, he always had an itch to express himself.
After retirement, he took up painting for real. He started by copying his favorite artists, like Van Gogh and Matisse. He moved through the impressionists and the fauves, and eventually found his own style in colorful abstracts inspired by nature. On his 70th birthday, he had his first art show!
Last week, he opened at a gallery in Old Lyme, Connecticut. What I admire most about my dad is his single minded perseverance. And his intuitive sense of color takes my breath away. He is a true renaissance man! Love you, dad.