This painting took me by surprise by being the first painting bigger than A5 to paint after our youngest child was born. I couldn’t stop thinking about the life of the man in the boat, after being asked by his granddaughter to paint her memory of him. Continue to read the full story.
Without knowing anything about my connection to her niece, this lady commented upon my painting; “Oh, how strange! This reminds me of my dad coming home, rowing his boat!”. Actually, it was her dad. My painting inspired by the memory of her dad.
It was told me by his granddaughter,
who wouldn‘t let it slip into forgetness. A memory coloured by love, faithfulness and courage.
He was a man of the sea,
who would take her and the other grandchildren fishing, showing them the best sites for a good catch. Like many other men along the coastline, he knew the riches and risks of the sea, having made a living of it. The family lived by the beautiful, but quite harsh, norwegian coast where some of the family still lives today.
Probably they lived in a
quite typical, norwegian wooden house, that would creak and groan in the wind. From their window they would have a view to the sea, where they would see their father and grandfather rowing his boat, coming home with the days catch.
The granddaughter wanted me to
make a painting that would capture this memory, – and the memory of every brave and loving man that has truthfully harvested and made a living of the sea. Knowing the risks, but also the benefits. Often loving it, but sometimes sailing in fear, while praying that he will return to see his loved ones.
I loved the inquiry, but
at the time, I was in the middle of moving to a new house, and we were expecting our second child in just a few weeks, so even though I wanted to, I couldn’t afford spending the time to paint.
But the story wouldn’t let me go,
I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. Numerous times I’ve painted it in my mind, late evenings, and sometimes in the middle of the night. In the end, I just had to paint it for real. So after almost two years, I did it. Putting real paint on real paper, carefully following the painting I had in my mind, I captured the memory in a way I was proud to present. And here you see it.
Showing the painting to the granddaughter, I was
very excited and a bit nervous to see her reaction. I had nothing to fear. She loved it, and even told me she was emotionally touched by the painting.
But what really blew my mind,
was when her aunt, one of this man‘s daughters, happened upon seeing the painting. Knowing nothing about my connection to her niece, she made this comment; “Oh, how strange! This reminds me of my dad coming home rowing his boat.” This comment made me feel so surprised, and incredibly happy at the same time. It really confirmed to me that I had managed to capture and honour the memory of this loving man.
I’ve called the painting Coming Home, because coming home is the loving core in the memory of this man, and of every brave and loving man that has harvested and made a living of the capricious sea for generations.
About the painting
Coming Home is made in a limited edition of 65 giclée prints, signed and numbered (x/65). Read more and order here
Printable Colouring Sheet
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