Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Life... Isn't Just Black ... or White!

The first leg of the VIA train adventure was rendered in pen and ink. Each of the fourteen black and white images were completed within a one to two minute time interval. Needless to say, none were completed with any significant detail to make them highly realistic. Basic large forms were recorded to assist in creating a framework. The rest is left up entirely to the vision and imagination of the viewer.

At first, I felt direction-less. Uncertain as to how to proceed with the application of color. Then an idea came to mind. Why not proceed with the application of color using the same framework of a limited time interval. The choice of medium seemed straightforward and logically sound too. Watercolor as a medium would allow me to to apply color quickly and broadly to record a quick impression to support... but not take away... or overstate the underlying ink rendering.

Allison and I had always shared gifts at times when we were apart, or travelling. I had purchased a portable field set of Winsor and Newton watercolors for her to use in her Venice adventures. She however... seemed to never have enough time in her busy studies and teaching to really use it as fully as either one of us had hoped.

Since she passed in late April of 2017, many of our mutual gifts to each other have found their way back to me. At first, I found their return painful... so I merely set them aside ... hoping that a "right time and opportunity" would arise to put them to work.

I now view these returned gifts as blessings in my life. It has become my duty.. and my great Joy to put them to work for us both. It brings to mind a very appropriate saying that I received just recently from the eulogy of  a dear family friend Nancy Weinrich. She was the mother of Allie's Venetian soul mate, Jill Heinrich-Luppi. I feel it a very appropriate occasion to share it with you here:

"Love doesn't die. People do"

It seems everywhere that I travel in my daily life the common symbol which has always enjoined me with Allison mysteriously appears. As I climbed the stairs to go down to the entrance of the cottage on the River where our family was meeting for a meal and evening together... there appeared this very distinct heart gift.. embedded... who knows by whom ... or how long ago. But on this particular occasion it served as a roadside reminder (to me at least) that Allie would be present.

So in the spirit of that love... let us continue the next part of this journey without tears. Let us celebrate their continued presence through the countless memories we hold of them in our lives.

"Choose love." ... Allie's tarot card read during her chemo sessions. Chance say you???... Me chooses to think... NOT!

I have learned (with support and encouragement) to absorb pain and adversity and to use them in positive ways. In this case... I am choosing to take stark black and white imagery (with its own beauty)... and to blend it with watercolor pigments Here's what I managed to bring forward to share with you... in whatever way you choose to view and value it. It's up to you and your eyes!

PS As you read these words we will again be aboard VIA train # 45 headed to back on that earlier trek to Toronto. Enjoy!

Stay tuned...
Back home Thursday... and back to the next project!

Good Painting... and Happy Summer ... to ALL!!


  1. Good evening Bruce,

    The colour has really transformed these sketches. The ink sketches probably had more value to you, combined with your memories, than they did to other viewers. However, these enhanced sketches really convey a sense of the countryside you were travelling through, with all its colour and depth. I can almost imagine myself on that journey with you.

    Keep on rolling!
    All the best,

  2. Thanks Keith! As ever... your recognition of the value of planning and commitment to your own vision hits the mark!

    Glad to have you along on my journey And I will indeed... keep on rolling!

    Warmest regards,