Fred's Dog

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Fred's Dog

About 4 years ago (2020) I suffered a stroke. It was a TIA resulting from a head trauma. It took a few weeks to recover. I am seriously fortunate to be fully recovered and functioning as good after the event than before.

A few weeks before this, I had begun a painting of a beautiful beast of a dog for my wife's brother, Fred. His dog is a Bernese Mountain Dog. It is an exceptional experience to personally meet the animals I'm asked to portray. Even though I said, he is a beast of a dog, he is as good natured a dog as they come and as beautiful inside, as he is inside.

After my stroke, I was unsure of what kind of functional or perceptional changes might have occured inside me. Initially, I couldnt walk straight by myself, my speech was slow and slurred, and half of my face was numb.

Perhaps my greatest fear was that my artistic abilities might have been affected. For some time I was afraid to sit at my easel and find out for sure if there were any leftovers from the stroke that might hinder my artistic attempts.

In all this, I was hesitant to resume painting on Fred's dog, but eventually, I did sit down to see if anything had changed… although when I set about to paint, it was an experiment on a blank canvas. To my surprize, nothing was worse and nothing better, it was all the same now as before and so, I began to paint again.

Meanwhile Fred's dog remained the same also… not done!

Time passed and passed again.

Now I'm sure this is not the commercially wise thing to do, but I'd rather be honest and loose cystomers than gloss over my mistake and fluff up the story, making myself something I'm not. So I won't be adding any varnish to this story.

Years passed… almost 4 years!

Today, after some work on the portrait, I have only a couple of small things to do before its done, and I can send it off to my brother-in-law. A couple of more hours painting and we are there!

There is, of course, a sense of relief to be, not only on the home stretch, but almost able to reach out and touch the finish line.

There were times in my studio when I'd see the dog (painting) sitting in the corner… staring at me with those eyes I gave it.

ideas are complex

It is an eerie feeling!

The eyes convey the question that hangs in the air… when? When is it my turn again? Yes, guilt has something to do with it, but I will be shipping the painting to Fred shortly.

Before I go, let me say a few things. First there was no money asked or promised. Should my brother-in-law want to pay something. I'd go for that, if not then I'm still ok.

Second, I will admit that this kind of work requires a different mindset and a different approach than the abstract work I usually do. I suppose, I would say, one is more work than the other.

Anyway, now that this is behind me, it is on to other things. No more penetrating eyes looking right through me. Maybe next time I see those eyes, they will be saying, thanks?