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A walk with Dad

Sometimes an image is like a punch to the mind. It leaps in there refusing to let go until it appears on paper, board or canvas and then, sigh, it can be at peace. This was one such painting. Although it was painted many years ago whilst I was still getting to grips with watercolours (do we ever stop learning?), it holds a special place in my collection as Dad is on it.

We were walking near Offa’s dyke in North Wales when I turned around to say something to him but he was out of sight around the bend. However the composition of lane, barn and house with hillside drifting away to trees punched into my imagination and sparks of creativity started to burn. Quick get the camera out. By the time I set it up he came into view so, snap, and he was immortalised. To be honest I didn’t want him in the shot but the light was perfect and I didn’t want to miss an opportunity. I thought ‘never mind, I’ll just not paint him in’. Yet, as I started to sketch, he appeared, a lone figure proudly gripping the stick carved by Mum, determined to be in the painting , like the strength of character he possessed in real life. I’m so glad he’s there, his figure, forever walking down that lane draws all the other elements together and now he’s gone I pass that painting and smile at the memory of so many walks we did together

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