Acrylic on canvas
24 x 36 inches
Barbara Muir © 2008
My friend David Northcote's mother, and my friend
Suzanne Betcke's mother-in-law, Ann Northcote,
died this morning, after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke
last week. I painted her portrait a few summers
ago and spent many hours talking to her and getting
to know her. In the breaks between portrait sittings
we shared tea, cookies, stories about her family,
lots of laughter and an appreciation for each other.
Ann was a citizenship judge and loved and took pride
in her work helping people become new Canadians. She was
also the first Canadian to become President of the
World Y.W.C.A. and a Member of the Order of Canada.
A down-to-earth woman, and avid gardener, Ann
wanted to be portrayed with her backyard in the
background where her beautiful garden surrounded
the pool that was the center of many large, happy, family
parties. The only symbol of her considerable stature
in Canadian life that she wanted included in the painting
was the tiny pin on the right side of her blouse in the
picture. That piece of jewellery was the pin given to
her for being a Member of the Order of Canada. She was
an amazing woman with a great laugh, a generous nature,
and a tender dignity. I will miss her.
Have an honouring-the-people-you-meet-who-care-about-the-world day.