Sunday, October 14, 2012

Surfacing

I was shocked when I looked at my blog and realized how long it's been since I last posted.

I've been missing the process of blogging lately. I've realized one of the things that have held me back too: I hate sitting at a desk to post, I much prefer my phone or iPad. Lucky me - they have apps for that! (This post is an experiment from my phone.)

This painting I started at the beginning of summer (this isn't the only thing I've had on the go lately), had a massive family trip then had a very difficult time finishing. In fact, the piece was finished only a few hours ago.

So, what happened?

I was asked about taking this commission from a friend who just had to say goodbye to this sweet dog. I had previously done a piece on her cat as well.

We worked through a collection of photos and picked this shot because of the rich colours, textures and sculptural lines. I was in love. The painting started strong.

In the meantime, my family and I took an amazing adventure across the globe to teach at an English camp (another long post, hopefully) We were all set to resume the routine when we got home. For me, that included this painting.

On the night we returned home, we learned that while we were gone, our own beloved dog, Esther, had passed away suddenly at her original owner's house. This was devastating. Jet lag made it worse.

This painting sat there. Those sensitive eyes, the silly toy, the graceful lines of paws and folded back ears all made me so sad. So I left it. Then I got busy, work consumed me, life moved forward.

The other day I got a precious day with sunshine and quiet. No commitments and a desire to paint. I saw this on my palette and knew it was time. I won't pretend I wasn't sad. But I was ready. I think it was cathartic. I just soaked up all the canine attributes and put them down.

We've tried to explain to our kids why it hurts so bad to lose our dog. The more you love, the more it hurts. We've posed the question "is it better to not have loved and stay protected or is this pain worth it because of the wonderful time we had together?"

I'm glad they agreed (even in their most painful days) that it was worth the sadness. I hope this painting is good for my friend's healing too.

2 comments:

Carol Allen Anfinsen said...

A lovely portrait. I think you've captured this dog beautifully. Great color!

Carol Allen Anfinsen said...

A lovely portrait. I think you've captured this dog beautifully. Great color!