this is not how I wanted this to turn out, but here it is. I tried to keep it very simple, but of courses added so many layers. I kept colours to a minimum, and mixed instead. I dedicated this to my friend Heather MacWilliam, a former Toronto Police Services Officer who had enough of the BS harassment from her “ brothers in arms” and took them to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and charged them with sexual harassment. It only took her 10 years, cost her 3x what she won, and a colossal emotional toll, but she won. I sent her this painting to show how much more civilized sparrows are…they wait their turn and allow others to drink, unlike toxic Human workplaces.
i talked to my psychologist this morning and she encouraged me to send in my statement of claim to the Bureau of Pension Advocates. It’s taken me almost a year to write it. It was just too difficult to write and relive. But it was my only way of having a voice, since the army never allowed me to speak up. I tried to write it like a research essay but it didn’t work, I was too emotional and it really hurt. But I did name the people involved, and those who committed fraud to eliminate my position. So there it is, 27 pages, and 17 pieces of evidence. It’s uploaded to MyVAC, the Veterans Affairs site Veterans use to try and communicate with them. I’m glad it’s not going to VAC, I’ve never trusted them, I worked beside them and a parade of officers would go to their offices and get their claims approved on the spot, or they would influence other’s claims.
the Bureau of Pension Advocates is a group of lawyers and basically a last resort for Veterans who get nowhere with VAC. I doubt my testimony will do anything, but now it’s a matter of record and I can close that chapter that has hounded me almost a year.
This is a painting based on Prudence Heward’s style of postimpressionism.
It’s been 3 years since I painted at all. Art school taught me that I can’t draw. And I couldn’t come up with anything original. So what was the use?
Dealing with depression from the military has left me struggling. I do receive monthly psychologist sessions, but nothing else. I couldn’t do art anymore, it was work, too many rules and it sure wasn’t fun. It was more struggle. So I stopped.
Then I had a really bad week. So many mistakes and just lost. How I wish I could run away again. My uncle did, after the Air Force. He had a tiny cabin in Alberta and died there alone.
What can I do to cope? So I decided to start painting again…but what? I was flipping through the artwork of Prudence Heward, my favourite Canadian artist and came across The Blue Church, Prescott, 1933. I loved it. I wanted it. So I painted it.
When I painted it, I told myself to relax and never mind the detail or mistakes. Just have fun. You see blue? Paint blue. And I’m using BLACK, yes, no mixing. Black. And brown.
You learn so much about a painting when you copy it. You notice the colours and blends, the little nuances. This painting was done plein aire, outdoors in quick strokes to capture the light of the moment.
So there you have it. I started painting again. And I don’t care how I paint or what I paint. I am lost when I paint, which is good. I wake up early to paint, I am actually excited to paint. I know I’m not a great artist, but this is a coping mechanism against depression. It doesn’t always work, but it’s all I have right now.
I havent painted since art school, i just felt i couldn’t paint at all, i hated everything i did. During a bout of depression, i suddenly picked up a brush and just started painting freehand. I blocked in the bird, then added tones in raw umber, and just added layers. Everything is not perfect and i like that. I dont want realism, i want a looser style and movement.
It did help a bit with the depression, but it never goes away, just abates.
This was meant to be a study in alla prima. I lay down the values first, getting darker and darker areas in. The slowly added large swipes of colour, and finally detail only on the focal points… the eyes and muzzle.
I love this style of painting and I have returned to pastels as I feel this is my most expressive mediam I can play with. I was limited in colours, as I only had the Pitt Pastel pencils with me, and no fixative for more layers which would have helped. I am camping in an RV in Muskoka and brought limited supplies. This was meant as a practice piece, hence the crappy paper.
Deer Muscle Group Study, Polychromos Coloured Pencil on Drafting Film
Just playing around with anatomy, i think it<s influenced by my years as a medic, i was always fascinated by the inner body and i got to assist in a few surgeries. I used only two colours for this drawing.
Copy of Durer Wing, polychromos coloured pencils on Canson drawing paper
this is our homework for this week, we could have chosen the Hare, but I wanted a challenge. Boy did I get it! He is really into way too much detail than me, so not an exact copy, but pretty close. I’m happy with it.
This is what you do in art school all the time ! Still art!
This is done with limited palette and acrylic polymer and lots and lots of layers. You work light to dark and the first 30 layers it looks like crap. But keep going and you eventually end up with an apple!
Read the newspaper articles that mention Harcourt and its people during the First World War as people did at that time. Read about the excitement to join up, and the support by members of the village... and the heartbreak of the worst news from the frontlines. Research your own family names and read their story from the newspapers of New Brunswick.