Saturday, November 7, 2015
As of today, it has been about 30 months since my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought and defeated her cancer. By comparison to many others her fight was brief, but it was a fight. Near the end of her battle, we spent some time in the White Mountain National Forest in upper New Hampshire. We love the area and it was peak leaf season. The days were warm and bright, perfect to take our strolls along some easy trails as she regained confidence and stamina, and simply enjoyed herself.
The colors were remarkable, and I snapped a few digital shots, sketched a bunch more and absorbed what I could, finding more inspiration and motivation than I had since before she got her diagnosis. The leaves were just part of it. The sky bloomed like a flower. The sun was low and lit the world from a soft and comforting angle. Wind sang in whispers through the ticking branches while carrying scents across the forest to rival the aroma of any fine kitchen.
We rode the Cog Rail and took the Cannon Mountain Tram. Perspectives were changed as we looked across the peaks toward the ocean or Canada. We held each others hand and walked the rim of Cannon Mountain. Her breath was short and each step took effort, but the views and hues drove us onward and deeper.
These paintings are a result of those walks. They are images filter though a healing heart. I didn't know then how wounded I felt. Her discomfort far eclipses my own. But those mountainous trails led us both toward a newer understand of who we had become and what we might create.
My wife and her recovery are as much a part of these paintings as are my years of training and exploration. We made these together, hand in hand, during a few autumn days in the forest a few hours away from our home. Views and Hues is a record of our journey back.