Have restarted this portrait.

Often when I do a portrait whether it is as a landscape, realistic or abstract it will take  a few attempts. Friends lose their minds with me when I pick up work I’ve studied and patiently tweaked for weeks, ripping it to shreds.  I’ve had friends try to sneak out pieces that I dislike.  I often look at some pieces around the world of Picasso’s and feel immensely sorry for him, he never intended all his scratches and musings to be hung as if they were his masterpiece.

Danno is a complicated man.

We were introduced on FB and have been firm friends for a while now.  Danno has Complex PTSD from his years of service as a Corrections Officer for Canada.  His story is one that I hope is repeated less, and less often as we educate others on PTSD but it is all too common for many friends I have met over the years of advocating for MH.  When he most needed help and support his service threw him out.

Part of the journey to healing is coming to terms with that betrayal.

He wants this piece to celebrate his years as a Corrections Officer, to remind him of those days and to pay honour to his service.  He was not honoured by his service, being unceremoniously booted to the kerb.  I won’t be dwelling on that, other than to say that the management who behave in this way will one day have to look themselves in the mirror and I hope that image throat punches them.

The first iteration of his portrait I drew him as he was in his uniform with a grouping of kids behind him playing on a swing set, to his right was a cell and the keys hung from his hand.  But it was too busy for my liking, too obvious, too predictable and without a question mark or query.

I ripped it up and as much as I hate waste, glad I did.

This is a journey this art thing, a journey with an end that may or may not be what I expect or Danno expects.  That’s why art is not a money maker or predictable, it can not be controlled.  It must fiercely throat punch the world and shake it out of its unconscious mediocrity.

 

(image shown not the portrait ….  will post as I progress)

Kate Gillie
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