Title: Lest We Forget…
Dimensions: 60 in. X 48 in. x 1.5 in. – 152 cm. x 122 cm. x 4 cm.
Medium: oil, acrylic and mixed media on gallery grade wood panel
Most war memorials are constructed of a plain grey granite stone with the words “Lest We Forget” engraved in gold. As an artist my intent was to reproduce this same effect on a slab of granite, thus the drab greyish background to my painting. The lettering themselves are in the police format “Engravers MT”.
The actual virus illustration was completed using my distinctive “colorist art” techniques that I’ve developed over the past few years. This work of art would be considered a mixed medium painting. I used a combination of heavy acrylic paints, liquefied oils, and other mediums to portray the various proteins and horns associated with the virus’ image.
When employing my colorist art style, I must paint horizontally since my paints are in a liquid state. Gravity is not my friend… therefore Lest We Forget was painted on a gallery-quality reinforced leveled wood panel. All the sides are 1.5 inches in depth and are also covered with grey granite tones.
The Covid-19 virus that I visualized in my illustration is the same image that has been seen worldwide for nearly a year in most communication media. The original was initially commissioned by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia (USA) and has been open-sourced since it first appeared. My intent in recreating a similar image was to make my Covid-19 virus easily recognizable in my “painting with a purpose”.
The idea to create this painting came about from a discussion that I had with my daughter at the beginning of the first Covid-19 wave to hit our region in March 2020. During one of our nightly phone calls, she talked about her concerns that all the hardships and griefs caused by this pandemic would be, over time, forgotten. This really struck me because I knew she was right!
It’s then that I began to wonder if as an artist, I could find some sort of way to generate a message through my artwork for people not to forget. As an artist, I’m a firm believer that…‘‘inspiration will find you… however, it has to find you looking”… and this is exactly what happened.
The next morning on the news, I saw for the hundredth time the Centre for Disease Control’s (CDC) illustration of the coronavirus and I knew that it must be part of my message. The very next day on March 22nd, after a few weeks of confinement, I decided to take a walk in the downtown area of Ottawa, our national capital. While walking in front of our Parliament buildings I went over to “Confederation Park’ where the memorial to Canada’s unknown soldier lies. When I looked up at the huge cenotaph, it’s there, at that moment that it all came together… the size of the painting… the grey granite… the words “Lest We Forget” and how to integrate the CDC’s image of the virus.