24" X 36" oil on canvas
Original art is sold
This is Sarah, my youngest daughter, here at age 14. Today we spent the day wandering through Uplands Park and adjacent Cattle Point, in Victoria, BC, Canada.
Sarah has now appeared in more than 100 of my paintings – a collection that has become a chronicle of her life as she moves toward maturity. I’ve come to realize that my overriding concept behind this series is to study and celebrate life on Canada’s West Coast. The paintings and writings represent moments in the lives of Sarah and her friends. For the most part, those moments are of the feel-good variety.
However, life is complex. There is yin to all that yang. Without pain, there can be no sense of pleasure. Pain provides the necessary contrast, and there’s always too much pain to be found in the world.
I focus on the positive, for the sake of my own peace of mind, and I’m wary of featuring the dark side. Sarah’s life grows ever farther from me. There’s the physical distance of her life in another town with a step-family and circle of friends, both male and female. But there’s also a growing independence that comes with maturity, as it should. As a parent, it’s good to see that independence develop. As her dad, it’s like standing on a steep, muddy bank, struggling for a foothold, and it looks like rain.
There ... I’ve just slipped briefly down the bank and tasted the wallow. Perhaps someday, I’ll explore more of that dark side in my painting. I’m just not sure, at this point, that I have the energy to climb that slope, over and over.
For now, I’ll just hold on and embrace the sunshine when it comes around. Mark Heine