My grade nine art teacher, 1969-1970, Mr. Carlin, is one of the most inspiring people I’ve bumped into in life. I am so blessed to have acquired one of his pieces, Jester Trickster. Paint and wood block combine to create this ‘magical’ piece.
I painted on a Masonite board while in Mr. Carlin’s class…I still have the original sketches for the painting, “Adam”, that I worked on independently through his grade nine class in 1969. They were tucked away in my portfolio. The oil painting has long since disappeared; likely on one of our military moves it didn’t make it onto a truck. A muscular Adam had his leg wound up tight by a serpent…a very symbolic piece for such a young girl. It makes me smile today, to remember.
It wasn’t long ago that I re-connected with ‘Mr.’ Carlin (amazing how we find difficulty attaching first names to our forever-teachers) through social media and was very excited to acquire one of his amazing pieces, ‘Jester Trickster’, through a 2011 exhibit/fund raiser where he sold his collection in order to generously support his daughter, Sarah, in a new treatment protocol offered in Albany, New York.
Mr. Carlin was such an inspiring mentor! I will never forget him and his ways. Particularly, I will always remember his sense of humour! He was so encouraging. As I journey back in blog-time to the visit with Dad in Ontario (wanted to blog away the poignant moments that held so many lessons while home…but Dad’s computer was too darned slow at the time!), I find myself remembering the decision to miss my 40th high school reunion in Great Falls, Montana and focus, instead, on what it was my Dad and I had to learn together through our grief. That didn’t mean there weren’t going to be a couple of side trips though. The trip to Hamilton had been such a blessing later in June.
I knew that my sister was a health nurse at Camp Tawingo again this past summer. One of the joyful memories of my life was the magic of bumping into Val some years ago at a hotel parking lot in North Bay. I was on my fourth night of driving east, pulling in from Thunder Bay and she was having her 48 hour break from camp. It was a fortunate and very serendipitous moment.
Why not repeat it? We decided to combine the opportunity to enjoy an exhibit, Intransit, of David Carlin’s new works with a reunion at the same Super 8 Hotel. It was a dream to step into the Alex Dufresne Gallery in Callander and have the art work sing out the way it did. It was spectacular, as was the feeling of excitement that was going on inside me.
As I signed the guest book, Mr. Carlin stepped up behind me, recognizing me immediately. What a spark of magic that was! I will never forget it…A drum ceremony opened the event and I felt washed over by good will and creativity. It was an event I will not soon forget. It was very quick…very spontaneous…but I needed Mr. Carlin to know that I have never forgotten him. I also needed to see his work up close. If ever my readers have the chance to see his art, please do! Thank you, dear Mr. Carlin, for having been my teacher.