April 9, 2009

In Memoriam of Donald Irving

Donald Gilbert Irving 76
(July 29, 1932 - March 7, 2009)

Last Summer, I was invited by my friend to visit her on Cape Cod and paint a portrait of her father Don Irving. Don was in late stages of prostate cancer and was suffering, not only from the cancer, but the ravaging effects of drugs and therapy. Regardless, Donald showed his strengths of character and zest for life throughout my visit.

After getting to know him better, and observing his interests, I knew that I simply had to paint him
reading the morning paper. Don was a big Red Sox fan and he loved to read about the upcoming game among other things. We positioned him in a comfortable chair with natural light streaming in from the back yard door. Pammy, his daughter, cut fresh flowers from her early summer garden and placed them in a vase on the side table. It was important to also paint in a very special ring that Don's wife had given to him during their marriage. During the visit, I did studies and took pictures and finished the painting after my return home. The portrait was unveiled at the family's Thanksgiving dinner and now hangs framed in Pam's house. She has told me on several occasions that having his portrait has provided comfort and remembrance during her time of grieving. A print will be made and framed for Don's other Daughter, Brenda. Donald fought the good fight and will be missed by many... including me.

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