"Wisdom is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it." ~Albert Einstein
"Wyll, (wisdom)", oil on panel, 11"x14" is another one of those paintings that came together in an instant. I knew I was going to shoot reference of Wyll, but that little old man just happened to be there, and that spun the feel of the composition around entirely.
We all know people in our lives that we feel are "old souls"; friends that seem to have a quiet and unquestioned knowledge about the universe that we are just skimming the surface of. Wyll is such a friend, and has always been so. We have known one another for a long time (22 years), longer than half of my life. Yet the accumulated wisdom that she holds within her seems to surpass her years.
Frequently when I travel to Toronto to meet Wyll we have dinner or lunch at Fresh. I have painted Wyll twice now at different locations of this great vegan restaurant. I like the warm palette of interior colours, the food, the service and most of all, the chance to spend time with my longtime friend.
On this occasion a little, older gentleman was in the middle of enjoying his meal when I took out my point and shoot to point and shoot, as it were. I liked the obvious juxtaposition of young and old, but there was another connection that went even deeper. This painting challenged me to re-examine what it means to be wise, and that age does not necessarily determine an accumulation of knowledge. Granted, I do not know this gentleman, but here he is symbolic rather than literal. I loved how their posture differed, their mind on different things surely and I was pleased to capture this brief moment in the painting.
Technically this painting has a lot of little elements to it. I tried to keep the background relatively loosely painted despite its complexity. As you probably know by now I go insane with huge amounts of detail spread over the entirety of a canvas, but prefer to concentrate on smaller, selected areas of higher resolution. Personally, I like to be able to let my eye "breathe" when I look at a painting, and not be aware that every square inch has been rendered to within an inch of its life. This tires the eye, and, while technically very well done, exhausts me...it is good to have movement with broader strokes, a more expressive approach. At least, this is what I strive for within my own work.
I take pleasure in the knowledge that my friendship with Wyll has been chronicled by about five paintings over the years. It is a little road map of our history as kindred spirits...a pictorial record of a connection that will last the rest of our lives, of that I have no doubt.
Have a beautiful day, wherever you are..
"The winds of change are always blowing
and every time I try to stay
the winds of change continue blowing
and they just carry me away."
Here is some information on the exhibition in November of 2009. I hope to see you there!
November 5-22nd, 2009
Abbozzo Gallery, Oakville, Ontario
Opening Reception November 6th, 7-10pm