Wednesday, September 1, 2010


IN MEMORIAM : FRANCIS WESLEY THIRSK Feb 22, 1920 - Aug 24, 2010
I laid my father to rest yesterday, so if you will indulge me, I'd like to write this post about what he meant to me in my life as an artist.
My Dad was an artist in disguise. For men of his generation, being 'an Artist' was anathema to an accepted 'masculine' career. So he poured all that frustrated desire into me when he saw I was headed in that direction at a very early age. I was encouraged at every opportunity to draw or paint or create by him. Instead of bedtime stories, my Dad drew pictures on my chalkboard. He was my strongest supporter; my harshest critic. Until he passed away, he continuously told me how and what he felt I should be painting. The highest compliment he ever paid me was when he told me that I was living the life he's always wished for - being an artist.
So tonight as I grieve for my Dad, I'm also thinking about foundations that are laid in our lives as creative souls. All of us have that special someone who 'blew' on the little spark of creating and made the flame of desire grow. For some of us, sadly, it goes out - and how often have I heard people say to me : "Oh, I used to love drawing when I was a child....." - but for the lucky ones it can grow to become an all encompassing passion.
So, thank you, Dad. Thank you for letting me draw in your University text books because that was the only clean white paper I found. Thank you for putting any and every art book you ever came across in front of me. Thank you for the pride you showed when I'd win an art competition. Thank you for letting me design your show windows in the store when I was 11. Thank you for always wanting to show off my work.
You are every reason I am the artist I am today.
You will always be there in every brushstroke I make.
I will miss you forever.
And I will love you longer than that.
The painting: "Count Lepic and his Daughters" by Edgar Degas, 1871


  1. Is it ok if I post a poem here? I don't want to take away from your beautiful moving dedication words so please remove if this is inappropriate here. I think of my Mom when I read this poem and I wanted to share it with you too.

    Death is Nothing At All
    I have only slipped away to the next room.
    I am I and you are you.
    Whatever we were to each other,
    That, we still are.

    Call me by my old familiar name.
    Speak to me in the easy way
    which you always used.
    Put no difference into your tone.
    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

    Laugh as we always laughed
    at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
    Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
    Let my name be ever the household word
    that it always was.
    Let it be spoken without effect.
    Without the trace of a shadow on it.

    Life means all that it ever meant.
    It is the same that it ever was.
    There is absolute unbroken continuity.
    Why should I be out of mind
    because I am out of sight?

    I am but waiting for you.
    For an interval.
    Somewhere. Very near.
    Just around the corner.

    All is well.

    Death Poem by Henry Scott Holland ~ 1847-1918
    Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral ~ London. UK

  2. Thanks susan. That is beautiful and most worthy to be here.
    My heart