Remember The Reason

I started painting in silence at 6 pm, down stage left in front of the curtains at Keyano Theatre.  I had sketched out the portrait of Mary and baby Jesus in the studio before coming over.  When doing live painting, I usually do the drawing in advance to save me a bit of time.  Each event has their own requirements in terms of time.  In the case of The Reason Christmas Concert, I had until about 9 pm to get get substantially finished.  Normally, having three hours would be the perfect amount of time.  However, in this case, there was an added layer of complexity, as I was also emceeing the concert.

The audience was very forgiving in a number of things:  1) my dress - I was wearing my painting pants and an old shirt; 2) my bouncing up and down - I had to pause the painting and get up to make the introductions; and 3) my new tabletop easel - I'm still getting familiar with it and there were several times when the canvas started sliding or tilting as I hadn't tightened the wing nuts enough.

As always, I started with the faces and the hands.  By the time those critical pieces were mostly done, the audience was in their seats and the concert was ready to begin.  Through the amazing music of the Dressed in Red band, Mel Altaveros, Ronald Llemit, Leona Sceviour, Tina Baker, Keith Jeans, Krista Noble, Lisa Ponak, Katie Williams, Joanne Critch and so many others I painted Mary and Jesus's hair, the swaddling clothes and the background.

I was particularly moved by the sing-a-long portion of the concert.  In over two decades of attending concerts, I have never heard an audience sound that good.  Wow!!!  I was blown away.

"Did you feel that the music moved you while you were painting?" asked Bev this morning.

I shared with her that I was doing the most delicate parts of the faces when Justin Wensley was playing his beautiful guitar music in the pre-show.  Those gentle sounds helped inform the choices I made.  The sing-a-long inspired me to make specific colour and brush stroke choices as did all the other performances.

As Chuck Vincent and Gord Ponak began the auction process I signed my name, the date, and one additional message.  It ended up raising $1,100 that will support four different charities in our community.

"You'll notice that I signed the painting and added today's date," I said to the audience.  "But, the most important thing of all is right here:  Remember The Reason."

There was a most beautiful silence as that sunk in, followed by joyful applause.

A lot of things were going through my mind and heart as I painted and listened.  I thought about the magic of that moment in the stable several thousand years ago.  I thought of Heather and her connection to both of our sons.  I thought of my boys and how they are both growing into beautiful human beings.  I thought of family and friends, and the power of kindness to strangers.  There is so much wrapped up in a single moment of love and awe.

I'll be finishing up the painting this morning before passing it along to Dawson and Winona, a lovely couple who recently returned from an amazing Antarctica adventure.

There appears to be some interest in purchasing canvas prints of this piece.  Here are the prices of a variety of sizes, inclusive of taxes and shipping.

12" x 12" - $85

16" 16" - $110

20" x 20" - $160

24" x 24" - $200

28" x 28" - $225

Connect with me through my Facebook page to make the arrangements.  Click here to LIKE the page and send me a direct message.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.


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