Thursday, November 9, 2017

"Lest We Forget"...

The words in the title of this post have always played a significant role in my life every November. November has always been a difficult month for me physically and emotionally. The huge transitions that nature imposes through drastically decreased periods of light daily and the overwhelming absence of color and new greyness of the landscape really effect my mood and spirit.

The concept of "loss" is magnified by these natural changes and unfortunately for me... and the rest of my family members  the observance of Remembrance Day on November 11th will become more difficult and painful than usual.

I have decided to attend the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Kingston.That action is appropriate in a meaningful way because that is where Matthew Dawes sacrifice will be honored and Andrew will be unable to attend. It will also be appropriate because the ginkgo tree planted to remember and honor Allison's life is mere meters away from the War Memorial site. After the crowds clear away, I will make my way over to spend a few moments remembering our Allie.

I have already undertaken this task of remembrance this week by finally adding my first thoughts and scratchings which I hope will lead to a finished portrait. That first hurdle was very difficult to get over. Getting past having to spend endless and painful hours searching for just appropriate photographic reference image has finally been accomplished.

The next step was to choose which backdrop would be best suited to my thinking. From the outset... I felt that a flat wash of meaningless tone would not suffice. Such an approach to me suggests an aloofness from a knowledge of the sitter. I wanted the background to say something extra to engage the viewer and offer up more insight into her as a person... and my relationship to her.

It came down to a choice about the two environments that she loved and thrived upon. The River... and Venice. Which would be better??? Someone I admire casually offered; "What's the problem here? Why not include both?" Those words linked up with a recent experience I had which offered an unexpected clue that made everything else fall into place. But that story is for another day... and post!

I have included the initial "scratchings" which form the format and direction for me to proceed. Perhaps you can already"see" the finished portrait that I have in my mind. Time will tell the full story. Stay tuned...

As rough as it is here... this outline clearly defines the three levels necessary in any landscape to depict depth. The color will be of my choosing. I need only nestle Allison's image into the landscape to make the painting complete

Love you Jemima... Forever!... To the moon and back!XXXXXOOOOOXXXXX  Mom Andrew Dad and Deb

Captain Mathew Dawe... gone too soon... but NEVER forgotten! Always in our hearts Matt!


  1. Hey Bruce,

    You are not alone in dealing with the absence of light and colour in the post solstice world. Though I often likewise struggled with the fall transition, we were gifted here on Vancouver Island with the most colorful, sunshine filled October's I have ever experienced since I landed here some twenty odd years ago. As artists and feelers we are born to experience life in a way that is both singular but in a depth both visually and emotionally that many have not the fortune to live. Being able to connect with those in the present and our hearts and minds with those in the past is such a beautiful thing. At times when this gift seems at times a burden often contemplate words such as this...

    "Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet
    and the winds long to play with your hair."
    - Khalil Gibran

    All will be well my friend.

  2. Hello again old Friend!... I have much missed your comforting voice... your joy-filled presence and your wisdom in my blogging experience. My entry into blogging yielded me that initial entry of "You" as my first Follower. It meant a lot to me then... and continues to right up until today!

    We both have always enjoyed "parallel journeys"... just in different spheres. Your wonderfully uplifting Gibran quote offered me today speaks to our common paths. Oh... that the rest of the world could feel this way about this Eden and our privilege to have a safe polace in it... to "be" and paint.

    I will join you to reestablish our previously mopre regular contact.
    All be well with you as well Jeffrey!

    Warmest regards.. and Good Painting!

  3. It is a difficult month for many reasons and for you in a year of 'firsts' especially so. I hope that the act of making this painting brings you comfort and helps with the healing.

    Best wishes.

  4. Good morning Lisa!... Thank you for your caring comment and continued presence. I appreciate your taking time from your own very busy... and obviously fruitful creative and joyful endeavors.

    November has always been a difficult month of transiton for me personally due to light changes and inner emotional demons. The act of engagement and committing myself to this portrait has indeed been cathartic,

    It interfaces me with the grief that does come and go... but I feel a genuine sense of ownership of my own feelings and see bursts of resolution... on the canvas and in my soul. Bits of joy do enter my life on a daily basis... and I feel Allie is only a couple of strides to my easel and a few brushstrokes away.

    Healing is underway under its own terms... I just grab on... and am grateful for the respite that the painting offers.

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,