Cornelia

May 9, 2015

AT OUR RECENT FEDERATION OF CANADIAN ARTISTS ART SHOW, I kept coming back to look at a piece by the Vancouver painter Ali Sepahi.  (www.sepahigallery.com)

BECAUSE OF RECENT KINDNESSES SENT MY WAY by people requesting commissions, I had enough moola burning a hole in my pocket to be able look at his painting with acquisitional eyes.

BUYING ARTWORK is a wonderful delight that I don’t give in to unless someone is buying one/some of mine.  And I am not beyond bargaining.  If I only have X-number of dollars from a recent sale, that is all I have to spend (a necessary and self-imposed rule).

IF I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY from having sold something of mine–and the painter I’m negotiating with can’t meet my bottom line–I have to walk away.  And that is sometimes very very difficult to do.  Usually, however, an arrangement is able to be made–but has to be done once an art show or exhibit has closed, and–of course–the painting outlasted the event and went unsold.

THIS PAINTING WAS ENTITLED ‘Grandma’.  Not being greatly enamoured with that choice (after all, I don’t exactly enjoy being looked at by onlookers as ‘Grandpa’), I researched female names and after dithering a long time decided the work was to be re-christened ‘Cornelia’.  That’s because I don’t know any Cornelias.  [I was going to name her ‘Beatrice’, but I already know a Beatrice, and it wouldn’t do — insights into my slightly OCD brain.]

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Ali Sepahi, oil on canvas, 61cm x 46cm (24″ x 18″), painted using a colour shaper

THIS WORK IS ABSOLUTELY STUNNING in my book.  The brevity of line, sparse delineation, those slight indicators of head tilt, clutch of serviette, careful reach towards drinking glass–oh my, oh my, but this is GOOD.  And crowning it all is the floral panache of a hat chosen to show that underneath it is no ordinary person willing to be defined by age or the brittleness of what our ripening years dish out.

FOR TEN YEARS my profession was that of Clergy–Presbyterian–and prior to that, my experience of memorable people in the manner of this painting, was due to my having been born ‘a child of the Manse’.  The ‘Cornelias’ I have been privileged to know, and yes, love, from my childhood onward, have been many.  Observing each one, discreetly attending to her carefully chosen paper plate of chicken salad–sitting apart from the younger ones at wedding receptions–finding that place under a large oak at the Sunday School picnic–not wanting to be obvious, while wearing a hat which was anything but humdrum, I knew before long I would be making my way towards her.  And she was always gracious in welcoming me–whether I was 8, or whether, wearing full collar, I was approaching as her Cleric–ready to amuse me with wry observations, regale me with stories of memorable wedding disasters, charm me in a smilingly-hushed voice, all the while allowing her milky-blue eyes to convey her longing that I not yet go visit someone else, and leave her–once again–all alone.

IT MAKES MY OWN EYES WELL UP EVEN YET, how  the Cornelias of this world have unexpectedly nurtured my needy heart time and time again.  And it will be an honour and a privilege to find her–this Cornelia–a treasured place on the dining room wall, even as we observe yet another floral-hatted Mother’s Day Sunday.

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7 Responses to “Cornelia”

  1. She is indeed a stunner. I have spent much time admiring how these gentle, subtle brush strokes describe the wonderful details of Cornelia’s countenance. She is eclipsed, however, by your tender written impressions. You have a talent beyond the brush, Lance.

    Like

  2. I keep coming back to look at this…the instability, impermanence, ethereal wonder of ordinary life….this is so truthful, and also beautiful. I imagine the actual painting is an even finer experience.

    Like

  3. grateful thanks, rebecca and cynthia

    Like

  4. Rebecca said

    It’s a great choice – a very poetic portrait.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. it is that…thank you for your experienced observations

    Like

  6. It’s a lovely work of sophisticated line.

    Like

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