Monday, August 15, 2016

Arlington - Military Spouse Series

Arlington - Military Spouse Series
36 x 30
Oil on Linen Canvas


I am continuing my Military Spouse with an emotional painting titled "Arlington."  Arlington is the Cemetery that lays to rest those who served in the military.  It is located in Washington DC.

The subject of this piece is the wife of a classmate of my husband, graduating from West Point in 1974.  We attended the funeral...the first Arlington funeral I attended.  The solemn, traditional ceremony was beautiful, meaningful and very moving.  

Since then I have laid holiday wreaths on the graves of fallen service members, specifically classmates of my husband.  Meeting the families is always a highlight of a solemn occasion.  They are from all over the country and have amazing stories of lives lived to the fullest.  Some stayed in the military after graduation, some followed other paths, but West Point shaped their lives in many ways and they have a camaraderie that cannot be denied.   

Of course the most moving burial was that of my father.  I am proud to say he is buried in Arlington.  His ceremony was beautiful.  The staff at Arlington is caring and professional.  I cannot imagine having a job that requires such compassion constantly.  I am forever grateful.  

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Letter - Military Spouse Series

The Letter

36 x 36
Oil on Canvas


My last post showed a portion of this is the entire piece.  Her name is is a bit of her story:

In 1992, Maria married her college sweetheart LT Greg Bowie.  However, it was more than 10 years later before they resided in one place –together and permanently. During early marriage, LT Bowie was assigned to the USS Nimitz and in 1994-5 the ship served as the test platform for a “new thing” called e-mail.  Writing brief messages, just a couple lines long, families and friends were able to communicate for the first time with a surface ship at sea in a matter of hours, instead of days, weeks or months. Despite the huge leap in technology and convenience, they continue today to add to their families’ history of handwritten letters and cards, like the generation before. They live with their son, Gunnar, in Arlington, Virginia where black ink and crisp stationery are in good supply. 
When Maria first told me she was able to email her husband...among the first to do so...I just assumed that she wrote a newsy, lengthy note telling him of her daily happenings.  I didn't realize that it would be just a couple of lines.  It makes me feel so fortunate to be able to communicate at length whenever I want.  
I still like handwritten notes and do write especially thank you notes.  I don't write as often as I would like...but whenever I get a personal note I feel special and make a new resolve to write more often.