An Art Project with Hospice in Memory of My Father

 

Birch Trees, Installed, December 2014.  Anna Philbrook Center, Concord, NH.

Birch Trees, Installed, December 2014. Anna Philbrook Center, Concord, NH.

Learning About The Good Work of Hospice

Twenty years ago I met Diane Stringer, CEO of Hospice of the North Shore (now called Care Dimensions), when she became a patron of my artwork. She originally bought one of my paintings through an art gallery, and we became friends. I learned from her just how sensitive and caring Hospice staff was for patients and their families.

I had the opportunity to find this out more personally for myself when several years ago my dad was diagnosed with cancer. He opted not to undergo any invasive treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation. As he became more ill, our family came to rely more heavily on Hospice care. The hospice staff came to our house and made my dad as comfortable as they could, and relieved my mom for some much needed rest. I thought of Diane often during this time and how central she is to the Hospice community.

After my dad died, I realized we were both really creative thinkers in different ways. And while my creativity came from art making and his was in business, we both understood the importance of sharing our love for our work with others and using what skills we have to our potential.
About The Hospice Annual Auction: How It Helps Others

As a subscriber to the Hospice mailing list, I became aware of their annual auction, which began 22 years ago. Proceeds from the auction provide comprehensive and compassionate support for children and adult affected by advanced illness, death and loss. Although I don’t typically donate my artwork to auctions, I could tell this event was different. The artwork in the auction was prominently displayed on the Hospice Web Site Home page, along with the artist’s biography and link to his web site. The original work was showcased in a local and highly respected art gallery along with a reception for art patrons and auction organizers to attend and meet the artist. A high quality reproduction of the artwork was printed on the auction invitation, and Giclées of the painting were offered for sale, both at the gallery and at the auction itself. Most importantly, there was only one artist and one painting to be auctioned, not several works competing for exposure. And, Hospice hired a professional auctioneer to manage the event.

Meg photo
My Artwork For The Auction: Enjoying The Process

Realizing that this was an example of the creative thinking I shared with my dad in that it was a good business opportunity to get out and introduce myself to a whole new audience, I called Diane and offered to donate a painting for the June, 2016 auction. She happily agreed, and I have been working on ideas for the painting ever since.

As the auction will be held at a Yacht Club, and coordinate with a sailing regatta, the subject of the painting will be about sailing in New England. I love how the ropes used by the sailors will be made of the same abaca that I will use to make the painting.

I have been working on sketches for the painting, meeting with auction staff, and, this past summer, accompanied my photographer friend on his Boston Whaler to photograph actual sailing races. I plan to document my creative process, post images of the work in progress, and ultimately share the finished painting on my blog and in my newsletter. And, I will be channeling my dad the whole time, and know that he is saying, yep, this is how it’s done!