Status of Original Painting – For Sale
All prices are in Canadian dollars
Size: 16.25 x 21.5 inches
Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches
This somber, peaceful, yet hopeful scene is a metaphor for the current pandemic. The fog will lift and a brighter day is ahead for that lonely fisherman.
It’s an unsettling and fearful time for most everyone around the globe. In Newfoundland and Labrador, cases of COVID-19 are on the rise. We don’t yet know if social distancing, school and business closures, and other measures will have prevented a crisis situation. Or will those who disbelieve the threat of the virus undermine our efforts? In Italy, Spain, and New York City, hospitals have become overwhelmed, with physicians, nurses, and supplies exhausted, and some health care workers dying alongside the patients they were trying to save. We are all at risk, and our very survival is dependent on what everyone else does or does not do.
Some of you who follow my artwork may not know that I am a physician, an endocrinologist. That’s the speciality that deals with glands and hormones, such as hyperthyroidism, thyroid cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. I have never practiced internal medicine, which is the specialty that looks after patients hospitalized with pneumonia, viral infections, heart failure, gastrointestinal bleeds, and the like. It was 28 years ago when I last did an internal medicine rotation during my training. I have forgotten much in those three decades, while many diagnostic procedures and treatments have changed. But if the situation becomes desperate in Newfoundland, I may be needed to look after acutely ill hospitalized patients, including those hospitalized because of COVID-19.
For my health care colleagues and I this situation is not unlike soldiers facing a possible battle in the morning, wondering who will die in the effort. The waiting and uncertainty are stressful, sleep is disrupted, and we worry about infecting ourselves or our loved ones. Our health care system is prepared to deal with an onslaught of cases, but there is a limit to what can be done. A limit to available protective equipment means that some colleagues may get infected and die in their efforts, just as in other countries. The physician who first reported cases of COVID-19 in China died of that virus, and many physicians and nurses have died in Italy.
Some may ask or even criticize how I can be painting at a time like this. But expecting me to stop would be the same as asking me to stop living. The creativity of painting has been an essential part of my life since I was about ten years old. It’s what I do for an hour or so every evening to unwind. If times passes without a new painting posted, you’ll know that something is wrong, that I’m quarantined away from my paints and parchment, or something worse has happened.
With the previous painting I received thanks from colleagues for giving them a few moment’s respite of looking at something beautiful and peaceful for a change. I hope the same thing happens for others.
The setting is Portugal Cove. The building on the left housed the excellent restaurant Atlantica, which closed some years ago. I still miss it. Off to the far right, beyond the fisherman, is the terminal for the Bell Island ferry.
When I took the reference photo in June 2019, it was a bright sunny day everywhere except for this cove. And so I knew then that the fog will lift. Better days are ahead. Stay safe and virus free.