Artist at heart
I gravitate to the creative when time is on my hands: to the computer early in the morning to write a new blog post, to the carpentry shop a few hours later to build a frame for the painting I had done the previous evening. These are my happy pursuits, my time well spent.
|My Happy Place, 2011|
Mayor Blake asked me how long it had been since I had painted.
"It's been at least 10 years," I said. What I didn't realize at the time is that I have painted more recently than I realized. While there had been a little lull in activity in recent years, the number of pieces scattered around the house surprised me.
|Eric Clapton, 1993|
|Willie Nelson, 1994|
Many of the original drawings and paintings are scattered across the country. I have a vague idea of where some of them are; others I've lost track of as people have drifted in and out of my life. One of my favourites, a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. is on the wall at my sister Corinne's house in Trenton, Ontario. This portrait of Wynonna Judd hangs in the television room in my brother Greg's home in Kamsack, Saskatchewan.
|Wynonna Judd, 1993|
|Marcel Marceau, 1998|
"Are things not going so well?" she asked.
"No, quite the opposite," I said. "Things are one hundred per cent."
In reflecting on her instinctual assumption that I was going through a creative streak as a reaction to something bad, I realized that I am inspired by both edges of the emotional spectrum. When I am blissfully happy, the ideas pour out of me like an endless fountain. When I am desolately depressed, I find solace in my creative pursuits and am able to lift myself up off the floor with the help of the pen or paint brush.
As I ran around the house gathering paintings scattered hither and thither and snapping their picture, an interesting timeline emerges. I hope that some of the pieces that have been given as gifts come back to me in the form of digital images. It would be great to be surprised by a few that I've completely forgotten about.
|Bob Dylan, 1995|
|Allen Ginsberg, 1996|
|Ella Fitzgerald, 1997|
|Bob Dylan, 1998|
|Young Frank Sinatra, 1999|
|Benny Carter, 2004|
|Dawn at Keyano, 2011|
|Christopher Hitchens, 2011|
|Steve Jobs, 2011|
|Wilfred Grandjamb (pencil), 2011|
|Wilfred Grandjamb (watercolour), 2011|
|Leonard Cohen, 2012|