Tracing Footsteps Exhibition

This exhibition of paintings is dedicated to the memory of my uncle Bruce Graham Black.  During WWII Uncle Bruce left his work as a painter and commercial artist and enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force.  He was married to Gloria Morgan, a concert pianist who studied and taught at the Juilliard School of Music, New York. Uncle Bruce, age 22, was killed in action on June 3, 1944 on a mission to prepare for D Day.

Several paintings in this exhibition are inspired by some of the artists whose work Uncle Bruce would have studied while attending the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, Ontario. The remaining paintings are based on the pencil sketches found in a small sketchbook of his which recently surfaced and was used by Bruce while serving in Bomber Command in the UK. He spent several months in Northern England and Scotland training for his role in the war. These locations were the inspiration for his sketches. In order to create paintings expanded from his sketches and the paintings of famous artists, I searched the internet to try to find the geographical locations of these works so that I might obtain an informed understanding of the surrounding environment.

Tracing Footsteps

Acrylic on Canvas  24”x 24”

My brother Bruce, named after Uncle Bruce Black, is walking through a painting of Georgian Bay, Canada by A.J. Casson  (Group of Seven). As a teenager, Uncle Bruce spent summers on Georgian Bay and in Muskoka where he sketched and painted.

“What kind of footsteps will you leave for those who follow you?”   Kathy Bee

A Storm is Brewing in Europe (with Joaquin Sorolla)

Acrylic on Linen 24″x 24″

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”  J.R.R. Tolkien

_

Decision Time

Acrylic on Linen  24”x 24”

I imagine that it is a difficult decision for anyone to make to go to war. Perhaps Bruce sought out a place of solitude to think about his future as is portrayed in my adaption of Lawren Harris’s “Algoma Hill”.

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” Tony Robbins

 

The Entrance to Peel Castle 

 Acrylic on Linen 24”x 24”

“Every exit you take is just an entrance to a different location. Therefore, exits don’t exist; they’re all just entrances to another place.”  Nitya Prakash

 

 

 Peel Castle Cathedral,  Isle of Man

Acrylic on Canvas 24”x 24”

“Life in the clouds sure feels unreal. A fantasy – a castle in the air, adrift from the ground, safe from the realities of life.”  E.L. James

 

Morning at Low Tide in Thurso, Northern Scotland

Acrylic on Canvas 24”x 24”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

In Passing, Orkney Islands, Northern Scotland         

Acrylic on Canvas 24”x 24”

“Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance.” Charles Lindbergh

 

Dreaming of the” Woman in Gold” by Klimt, While on Leave at the Manor

Acrylic on Canvas 24”x 24”

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.                                  Robert Fulghum

 Tranquility in the Scottish Countryside

Acrylic on Canvas 24”x 24”

“There is only mist, wind, rain, the cry of the curlew and the slow clouds above damp moorland. That is the real Scotland; that is the Scotland whose memory rings the withers of the far-from-home; and, in some way that is mysterious, that is the Scotland that even a stranger learns …to love.” H. V. Morton