Monday, 27 July 2015

Painting Pieces of History

A few years ago, our local school and schools in three neighbouring 
villages/towns became the focus of an Accommodation Review.
Each school in the review had low enrollment and high maintenance costs 
so in order to best use funding it was determined (through a 3 year process) 
that all the schools would be closed and one new school would be built, 
bringing all the students together in one place and giving them all 
the educational opportunities afforded to schools with high enrollment.

I was asked by the principals to paint portraits of the four schools
- an honour I felt unsuited for, but eventually I accepted the challenge.

Now, most people who have followed my blog and are familiar 
with my 'work' know that I love it when my art "smiles back at me" 
- and school buildings don't smile.

So, it may be needless to say that I stalled out on these portraits,
I didn't know if they would ever come together!

I had a personal deadline I was determined to meet which meant 
I had to pick up the brush again and get busy, but how can I commence 
without the spark of enthusiasm that comes from smiling artwork?

I went to the one place I knew that I could get help
- I went to God in prayer!

I poured out my heart before Him, expressing my fears, 
acknowledging my difficulties, and my desire to use the abilities 
He had blessed me with to create paintings that would honour 
the memory of the much beloved schoolhouses.

I set to work with renewed vigor and you know what happened?
The schools began to smile back at me!!

The enthusiasm remained strong hour after hour, 
and day after day as I worked away on these four portraits!

 "Campden Public School"
- Built in 1874 -
(watercolour, approx. 11" x 14")

 "Jordan Public School"
- Built in 1944 -
(watercolour, approx. 11" x 14")
 "Maple Grove Public School"
- Built in 1944 -
(watercolour, approx. 11" x 14")
 "Vineland Public School"
- Built in 1895 -
(watercolour, approx. 11" x 14")
I love old buildings! Some have such character and charm that they practically sing
 with the time and talent that went into their construction and final aesthetic!

I didn't expect the emotion I felt when I knew that Vineland Public school 
was no more, but I soon realized that the memories of the school were not 
housed within those old brick walls, but carried about inside my heart and mind 
- going with me wherever I go in this world!  

So it is not with sadness that I drive by the school property 
- it is with hope for the future! 
Hope that many more generations of children will be 
blessed with the opportunity to learn within our community!

So I, for one, am looking forward to walking into the new 
school building and observing the beginning of this new beginning!

♥ Cath-

 I have been told that these portraits will have a home somewhere 
in the new school and the new building is almost finished! 
The doors are to be opened for the students on September 8th 
for the 2015/16 school year! 

Hmmm, maybe I'll paint a portrait of the new school 
to complete the collection in my portfolio!   

No comments: