Yesterday was…conflicting. On the one hand, it was an extraordinarily beautiful day–one with the level of clarity you see after a couple of days of rain–and on the other, a very sad one.
I painted the view below of the Golden Gate Bridge from El Camino Del Mar, just past the Palace of Fine Arts. When I was done, I was approached by a stranger, Tod, who’d told me he’d lost his brother two days before in a car accident, 20 yards down from where I was sitting. Thirty minutes before I’d taken a break and walked down to see the flowers left at the tree where his brother’s car had struck, an old Monterey Cypress. Since we’d had our first big rain the day of the accident, and it’s a sharp turn on a steep hill, I can image the slick roads that day must have combined to create this tragedy.
This isn’t the first time a painting has had a special connection with someone. As artists, it’s something we seek, but of course can never plan for. A place remembered or one you’d like to visit is the norm. You’ll never know when that connection will be made. I’m grateful I was there at the moment Tod came back to visit that tree, and hope this painting brings him comfort, some day.
“Brothers” – Oil on Linen – 12×9
13 thoughts on “A Fateful Connection”
Lovely composition! I love how the bridge is occupying such a small part of the canvas, but has so much presence, and you’ve handled the trees beautifully. Nice work!
Ed, this is a gorgeous picture. I like your cropping and the juicy, warm greens in the forground. Did you give Todd the painting?
@Sivina – he offered to buy the painting, adding that he collects, but yes, I intend to surprise him and gift it to him. It will be good karma, for my November online-only open studio coming up.
Good man. I would have done the same. But it’s nicer for him that he is getting one of your paintings. : )
Ed, This piece is wonderful. I like the dynamics between the foreground and background. Soft textured greens in front with the hard edges of the red brigde in the distance–great!
I love the simple direct approach to this one. Nice Comp and I love the dark skies.
Beautifully painted, and described. When facing loss, I think connections helps soften the rawness of that new void, and you connected with him on two fronts; personally, and through your work. Such a good thing to gift the painting to him. Good man.
I am Tod’s sister. My brother Treg who was killed in that accident was the youngest of 6. He was an exceptional human being who loved nature and often ran in that area on that road. There is some consolation in the fact that he died overlooking such a beautiful area that I know that he loved. Your painting captures it perfectly. I am so glad that Tod was able to meet you. He was very close to Treg and I know your painting will mean alot to him. Thanks for your compassion.
I am Tod’s sister also. I wish to thank you also for the gift of your compassion. This has been so hard for all of us and knowing something so beautiful was created in a spot that took our brother from us is comforting in a way that I think Treg would appreciate. He loved that spot and I think he found it comforting to be there. I thank you for showing my brother Tod such thoughtfullness and I wish you well.
Toby & Troy, thank you for sharing about your brother, Treg. It’s really nice to learn more about him, and how much he enjoyed nature and this area. Tod should receive the painting soon. A friend of your family has asked me about getting a print made. I will let you know if I am able to do so.
Once again, I am Treg’s sister also. And I am touched as well that Tod happened upon you that day. It is truly uplifting to know that people like you exist in the world. Your paintings are beautiful and our family appreciates your kindness. Thank you.
I wanted to echo Treg’s sisters’ thoughts. I was a good friend of his and we all miss him immensely. He was a wonderful person and he would have loved your site and paintings. This painting helps us to remember why Treg loved this area. Thanks for this touching post.