Painting Shane Daye

Just over a year ago, Shane Daye was a victim of a workplace accident and died at the age of 27.  He was an instrumentation technician and an avid paintballer.  Shane made quite an impression on Zachary Fradsham, now 13, then 11, teaching him about the sport at XCalibre PaintBall in Boyle.

Zachary made custom designed "Play for Daye" stickers for the memorial service, as a way of honouring his friend and fellow paintballer.  While he fully intended to give them away, people started buying them instead, which sparked the idea of starting a scholarship fund in Shane's memory.

Zach came up with the idea of doing a paintball event to celebrate Shane on the field on the date of his birthday, which raised even more money.

The family of Shane Daye has teamed up with the family of Keith Nash, a fellow paintballer who died after a domestic accident in 2010, to create the Shane Daye and Keith Nash Memorial Foundation.

"With the creation of this foundation, the memory of both young and active men will be preserved for many years," reads the introductory letter that was sent to me. "It is the hope that annual paintball, golf and baseball events will aid the foundation in maintaining a substantial annual scholarship for active youth whom demonstrate leadership qualities and are in involved in sport either competitively or recreationally. Excess capital resources will be donated to fields, organizations, teams, etc., that facilitate participation in a variety of sports."

A couple of days ago, I was asked to paint a portrait of Shane that could be auctioned off at the Foundation golf tournament coming up June 20th at Miskanaw.  After hearing the story from Annie, Zachary's mom, I was inspired to take on this project in support of this great cause.  I started painting early this morning.

I was honoured to have Zach and his mom and dad join me in the studio this afternoon.  Zach helped me add the final flourish to the piece, bright orange and yellow splatters, to emulate the paintball explosions that happen during tournaments.  His contributions make the portrait extra special, and personal.

I didn't know Shane, but based on how this bright young visitor to my studio spoke of him, there is no question that he was a special person who will be remembered for a long, long time.

Shane Daye, 24" x 36", acrylic on canvas
with assistance from Zachary Fradsham


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