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“Support Our Troops”

This commission was assigned to me by a close friend from the always inspiring GHL. She came to me about doing a painting of a place on the lake, incorporating some form of the human body.  We talked about it and through our discussion the commission morphed into a simple drawing of herself at the lake and her big brother Mike from when they had been in Petawawa together. I had been working on the drawing of her when she messaged me the news that Mike was being stationed in Afghanistan soon and asked if I could finish his first.

It seemed shocking to me. Only then did it really register in my head what it meant when she talked about her brother being in the military. The picture she had given me took on a whole different meaning. The tank became not just a cool piece of machinery on display for us to marvel at, but an unbelievable weapon.  Mike was no longer just Kassandra’s brother, but a soldier serving his country for us and for the people living in war on the other side of the world. At first it was frightening but I immediately saw an honour and beauty to it. The fact that he is in civilian clothing takes the drawing to that level…  humanizing “the soldier.” I hope this drawing can be a reminder to the rest of us.  Reminding us that the many men and women who serve our country are just people like us, and about how lucky we are to live in a country so far away from such violence. I can’t express my respect for these men and women and what they do as simply their job. I wish you all the best Mike. Be safe.

Mike, Petawawa 2009

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