The courage of Carmen Young

When I travel, I do very little reading about the destination.  Instead, I go and experience what the place has to offer, then read and research when I get home.  I paint in a similar way.

"I don't paint from here (indicating my head)" I say to clients and workshop participants.  "I paint from here (hand on heart)."

In other words, I don't overthink any project.  Instead, I go in with an open heart and intention to honour the subject by taking the portrait where it needs to go.  I don't overthink it, or absorb myself with the story.

About six months ago, Nancy had asked me to paint Carmen, her daughter who had passed away some 25 years ago.  I worked on it for the better part of a week and with Nancy's guidance on some final details posted the finished portrait on my page late yesterday afternoon.  Even though she passed away almost a quarter century ago, she is widely remembered and deeply loved.  These are just a few of the comments:

"...a passionate advocate for organ donation..."

"...a dear friend and missed very much..."

"...she was put on this earth for a purpose and she fulfilled it..."

"...a beautiful person..."

I was inspired to find out more, now that the painting is done.  If you're from Cape Breton, you probably know Carmen Young's story.  If you're not, then click here to read a story from the Cape Breton Star that captures her story and legacy.  She was truly a remarkable person, wise and brave beyond her years.


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