Friday, November 11, 2011

Gray November Skies

Mr "Bud" Clark - portrait painting I did of my Grandfather for my Grandmother. The photo I used as a reference for this oil painting was taken in England just before he was sent out to the battle fields. My grandparents married after the war. I would not be here had he perished in the war.

I am watching the Remembrance Day program on the CBC as I write this. I have never been to Ottawa, where this is taking place. I am looking at the War Memorial and the buildings behind it. Then they showed a shot of looking up at the memorial structure with those cool gray November skies behind them; the guns going off, and I smile. How fitting the scene.

The television cameras have been capturing the faces of our Veterans and it struck me at how differently everyone experiences the Memorial. You can see it on their faces; in their eyes. Some wear dark sunglasses so we can't see their tears. Others show such anguish on their faces it moves us to tears. What they have endured in battle and living afterwards, while their comrades fell before them, is etched in the lines of their faces. Some are hardened and gaze at you through steely eyes. I suspect it is just a wall they had to build to protect themselves and us, from the terrors of war. Some may be thinking or wondering how many more Memorial Services they will be attending before the Lord finally calls them home, to join their friends and brother's in arms, finally,when it is finished.

This is always a tough day for me. My Grandfather fought in the 2nd World War and I have attended years and years of Remembrance Day parades and services. I marched as a "Brownie", a "Girl Guide", an "Auxiliary Police Officer" and finally as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. My Grandfather would come out to see me march in these parades and I remember missing one, once. I remember him telling me that he had looked for me in the parade and could not see me and I had to admit that I did not make it that year...I'll never forget the shame I felt in not "showing up". My Grandfather died the year I joined the RCMP, so he never got a chance to see me march in my Red Serge. I found that after he died, I could not attend the ceremonies anymore. It is just too painful. So I watch the ceremonies on TV from my couch with my box of tissues! We miss you Grandpa!

Lest We Forget

The painting above was inspired by Flanders Fields and the symbol of the Poppies that tend to grow there. I wanted to contrast the beauty of the bright red Poppy against the background of war.

To me, war is good against evil. Especially the 2nd World War. For me, Hitler was the epitome of evil. How evil a man can become. So with that in mind, I used dark and light colors of paint running into each other across the background. I used water sprayed on the canvas to create this effect. Sometimes the water would be sprayed on first, then the paint. Sometimes the paint was applied first then sprayed with water. Once it had dried, I painted more detail into the flower itself using Oil paint.

I have had a lot of positive comments on this one when seen in person. It is 18" x 24" x 1.5"deep and the sides have been painted black. It is still available for sale for $1120.00. Small prints are available upon request; 8" x 10" on archival quality cotton rag paper for $18.00. Shipping and Handling and Tax all included in our prices.

Quote of the Day;

Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

Saint Francis of Assis

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