Into the woods at Mazinaw
Oil on board
24 x 36 inches
24 x 36 inches
© W.W. Muir (date unknown).
I wish my father could see me here thinking about
his painting, something he really loved to do. My
Dad was an elegant man. He certainly seemed to
rule the house (his military training), but he painted
on a portable card table, first in a spare bedroom in
Toronto, and in Ottawa in the den -- a room that has never
really recovered from his presence. He painted in viyella
shirts, corduroy trousers, cashmere sweaters and highly
In Toronto when he started painting, he found an art
store that would talk to him about painting, and I think
bought every colour in the store. He took me along
because I had been designated as "artistic." Imagine
this elegant but nervous man, in a hand-tailored three
piece suit, gorgeous trench coat, highly polished shoes
going in to buy paint. He bought a couple of very simple
books on painting and some palette knives. He soon
discovered that he enjoyed working with a palette knife
and thick paint more than with brushes.
My dad could not have even imagined this world,
where I can publicize his work without any
approval process. He didn't even name his paintings,
because he just painted them and gave them away.
So I'm naming them for him. Looking back I don't
know where he mustered the courage to continue.
My mother tolerated his work, and allowed him to
hang it around her house, but for the most part she
was indifferent. This was his bizarre "hobby", a
word I'm violently allergic to now.
Because it wasn't a hobby, it was a passion. So
much so that when he was dying of lung cancer,
and I didn't want to admit it, I asked him on the
phone if he could still paint. He was a business
man, a hard worker, a wonderful writer, an excellent
speaker, an amazing photographer, but his big
love was painting. I get it.
So here's another one. It has warmed up the
large grey stone fireplace in my parents' home
ever since my father hung it there. I know my
mother cherishes it today.
Have a loving-your-parents'-talents day.