As most of you are already aware, the name God the Father is a term used to describe God within the three Abrahamic religions. Within Judaic beliefs, the term God the Father is used because the God of Abraham is the creator of all that is, including the universe and the earth. Jewish beliefs also state that he is both the protector of his faithful servants, and the giver of laws. When it comes to Christianity, the term God the Father is also often used because it distinguishes him from God the Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Within the Christian trinity, there is God the Father, God the Son, and Holy Spirit, all of which make up what is often referred to as the Godhead. Outside of using the term to differentiate between both elements of the same deity, Christians also use it for other reasons. In the Christian faith, God is believed to be the source of all life, the watcher over his faithful flock, and thus in that fashion he serves as a fatherly figure.
On the subject of the gender of God within the Abrahamic religions, in most cases masculine characteristics are associated with God, something done from even the very beginning of Old Testament Biblical scripture. Rarely do Christians, Jews, or Muslims refer to God as a woman, or God the Mother. What is strange, is despite the masculine characteristics so often used to describe God, in many cases God is described as having totally genderless, unlimited, or omnipotent like qualities, yet the reference to his gender is always apparent in words like him or he. Within the Roman Catholic Church Catechism, it clearly states that God does not have a gender, "he" is neither man nor woman. Statements like that are somewhat contradictory obviously, however it is clear that the Church does not want to call God an it, otherwise he loses that sort of element that one can relate to, as opposed to a gender neutral source of infinite life.
On the subject of Christian Art, the deity of God has always been represented as a father like figure in human form, and such has been the case for hundreds of years. However it should be noted that for roughly the first thousand years, early Christians made no mainstream effort to artistically portray God as a man or human, as they took a puritan view of the Biblical passage of Exodus Chapter 33 verse 20, which states that you cannot see God's face, for no one shall look upon him and live. This passage is paralleled in the Book of John Chapter 1 verse 18, which states that no person has ever looked upon God in all of time. Obviously by the time the Renaissance had come into bloom, all puritan adherence to not wanting to personify God, fell by the wayside. Nearly every art piece depicting God during the Renaissance shows him as a man, with a long gray or white flowing beard. These images constitute a sin to many contemporary Christians.
Probably the most common image of God the Father today, would be Michelangelo's Creation of Adam which is hosted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. No other representation of God within the Christian world has had such a profound and lasting impact on the contemporary impression or portrayal of God the Father. The grandfather like figure of God shown in this painting, can be seen in a reproduced format just about everywhere. Hollywood movies quite often mirror this same depiction, albeit altering the racial component of an old man with a flowing beard, depending on which actor gets to play him. The constant reinforcement of this image of God is abundant within most secular Christian or Western societies, however within traditional and very conservative Christian denominations, a strong rejection and push back is in place. Many Christians would like to see the father image replaced, with that of what is clearly stated in the Bible as genderless.