Thursday, October 8, 2015

Blessings... and Thanksgiving

"Bountiful Blessings" oil on canvas 30x24 inches

The usual time that I set aside each year  to complete a theme of Thanksgiving seems to have eluded me this year. I might have time to sneak one in before Sunday... but Life seems to continually be jumping in the way. To make sure that this important family event is recognized for its importance to me and my family... I have chosen this all time favourite which now hangs in the cozy Midland, Ontario home of my lifelong friends, John and Carol Philips. It was a refuge for me during some difficult personal years and they... along with their home continue to be blessings in my life.

The painting was made en plein air in one sitting during one lovely fall afternoon in the beautiful garden of our dear friends Rolly and Grace Hallyburton. Deb and I were married in this very same garden a dozen years ago. Grace had filled the wheelbarrow which had belong to my grandfather with a cornucopia of fall harvest and flowers. I knew that in painting it... I was preserving and passing forward several blessings... from my maternal Gramp Birrell to John and Carol. The painting is indeed intended to be a dialogue between the viewer and I.

 I have added yet another Thanksgiving subject in the form of a second painting tribute which describes the blessing I received in being born to two special parents. I use it frequently when thoughts of my parent's presence and influence... especially in the month of August are at their apex. "August ... on my Mind" conveys the deep and  rich memories surrounding my early Sherman life. It is a universal... in my memory trove of paintings.

THank you BOTH... for all of the rich blessings that I still carry with me... and hold close to me for comfort... each and every day!

                                         "August... on my Mind" - oil on canvas 24x18 inches

Although 2015 has been tough and very trying year for our family... the adversity we faced as a whole family in facing Allison's cancer has drawn us together in an unexpected and strengthening fashion. We have learned quickly the true value of time and each other's presence in the scheme of our daily lives. We have learned to get on with what life brings to us daily... to count even our smallest blessings... and to live more fully in the Now.

We shall be together as a family to share part of this upcoming Thanksgiving Weekend doing what many of you will be busy at as well. I wanted to post this painting with our heartiest Happy Thanksgiving wishes early... to all of my Friends living in Canada... and a Happy Columbus Day celebration to my Friends in the USA... just in case Life gets in the way again... as it has been doing lately.

We completed The Breast Cancer Walk in KIngston on Sunday. I will post again soon focussing upon the rich and moving event. Stay tuned...

Rich blessings... Happy Thanksgiving!... and 

Good Fall Painting!!!... to ALL!!


  1. Good morning Bruce. The paintings and your words all contribute to a satisfying feeling of end-of-season, and indeed, thanksgiving for blessings. Apart from church harvest festivals, we don't really have a secular equivalent to your annual celebration. In fact, it just seems to be another opportunity for commercialism, in the form of Haloween, where American 'trick-or-treating' seems to have taken firm hold here. I suppose our disconnection from our food production has also made the season less meaningful. So I envy your Thanksgiving holiday, and I hope it is enjoyable for you.

    Meanwhile, I will mark the change of season by continuing to install my wood-burning stove, which hopefully will be delivered this week.

    All the best,

  2. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Bruce. Thanks for sharing these lovely paintings and thoughts today.

  3. Go9od Morning Keith!... Thanks for your visit and observations about our varying [commercialized] rituals.

    I think that church harvest festivals and fall fairs in outlying rural are still very much a part of our overall Thanksgiving celebrations here.

    Sadly... commercialism has indeed crept surreptitiously into every aspect of life... even into the arts scene... as you are well aware. Money does indeed corrupt many values and intentions. Simply... $$$ speaks in modern culture.... everywhere

    Thanksgiving for us remains centred mainly around gathering for a meal as a family... where possible. We did the "meal deal" last evening with Allie and Joan and Deb put on a truly stellar gourmet performance... and no turkey died in the act of preparing this meal! HA HA!!

    The other reason for Thanksgiving is the closing down of business for the season. We have good reason to give thanks because our "numbers" are above last year's... a true blessing in this "iffy" economic time. We ... are greatly blessed... and give thanks!!!

    Good luck with marking your change of season project. That acquisition will be much enjoyed on those nasty... long winter evenings and days!

    I give thanks to you for our continued Friendship... and Deb and I send rich blessings to you and yours on this Canadian Thanksgiving Day!

    Good Painting and Good Health!
    Warmest regards,

  4. Thank you to you Rhonda and a Happy Columbus Day back to you!

    Thank you for sharing your art and process... always a pleasure to visit your creative and colourful site.

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  5. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Bruce. These pieces are gorgeous!!

  6. Hi there Sherry!... Thanks for dropping by this morning and for leaving your (as usual) uplifting comments! Much appreciated!

    The pageant of fall colour is reaching its peak here... but I have personal "stuff" to wade through... so painting is on the back burner for now.

    I was worried about you after reading your last post. Sure hope that you can find that depth of courage and conviction to resume your struggle with things. I know that you can. Dig in Girl! Be Sherry... and be proud of "Her"!!! That is enough!

    Warmest wishes... and happy Fall!