An Art Project with Hospice in Memory of My Father

Artist Meg Black with Care Dimensions Diane Stringer and auctioneer Paul Zekos Memories of Marblehead

Artist Meg Black (center) with Care Dimensions President and CEO Diane Stringer and auctioneer Paul Zekos at the unveiling of Black’s “Memories of Marblehead.”

As an artist, I am inspired by nature. When considering nature, I do not try to copy the natural world as I see it but, rather, as I feel it. Moved by the natural light and organic shapes I observe in the places I visit seeking inspiration, I try to capture in my work the essence and mood of the place as well as to formulate a graphic interpretation of what I see.

 

I create my work with the same natural fibers used to make nautical rope and artist canvas. I love how the texture of this media provides an almost three-dimensional quality to the finished surface, thus mimicking nature in all its splendor.

 

My Introduction to Hospice

Twenty years ago I met Care Dimensions (then Hospice of the North Shore) President and CEO Diane Stringer when she became a collector of my artwork. She originally bought one of my paintings through an art gallery, and later, we became friends.  Through our friendship, I learned just how sensitive and caring hospice workers are for patients and their families.

 

I had the opportunity to find this out personally several years ago when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. He opted not to undergo chemotherapy or radiation. As he became more ill, our family came to rely more heavily on hospice care. The hospice staff came to our house and made my dad as comfortable as they could, and relieved my mom for some much needed rest. I thought of Diane often during this time and how central she is to the hospice community.

 

After my dad died, I realized we were both really creative thinkers in different ways. And while my creativity came from art making and his was in business, we both understood the importance of sharing our love for our work with others and using our innate skills to our potential.

 

Annual Hospice Auction

As a subscriber to the hospice mailing list, I became aware of their annual auction, and how the proceeds provide comprehensive and compassionate support for children and adults affected by advanced illness, death, and loss. Although I don’t typically donate my artwork to auctions, I could tell this event was different. The artwork in the auction was prominently displayed on the hospice’s homepage, along with the artist’s biography and link to his/her web site. The original work was showcased in a local and highly respected art gallery along with a reception for art patrons and auction organizers to attend and meet the artist. A high-quality reproduction of the artwork was printed on the auction invitation, and Giclées of the painting were offered for sale, both at the gallery and at the auction itself. Most importantly, there was only one artist and one painting to be auctioned, not several works competing for exposure. And Care Dimensions hired a professional auctioneer to manage the event.

 

My Artwork for the Auction

I realized – just as my dad would have – that the hospice auction was a good business opportunity to get out and introduce myself to a whole new audience. I called Diane and offered to donate a painting for the June 2016 auction. She happily agreed, and after several months of work, I am pleased with my finished piece, which is called, “Memories of Marblehead.”

 

Memories of Marblehead artwork by Meg Black for Care Dimensions 2016 hospice auction and regatta

Meg Black’s “Memories of Marblehead” will be auctioned off at the 22nd Annual Hospice Auction and Regatta, which benefits Care Dimensions.

I documented my creative process on my blog – from devising ideas to drawing the rocks and sharing which artists I channeled as I worked through the many nuances inherent in the creative process.  As the auction will be held at the Boston Yacht Club and coordinate with a sailing regatta, I love how the ropes used by the sailors will be made of the same fiber that I used to make the painting.

 

My dad had a simple strategy for success: It doesn’t matter what you decide to do for a living, just make sure you are the best you can be.  If you decide to be a ditch digger, be the best ditch digger you can be, and if you are going to be an artist, be the best artist you can be.  I thought of this advice as I worked through this painting, and made it the very best it could be.   And I know my dad is saying, “Yep, this is how it’s done!”

About

Meg Black has been a practicing artist using fibrous pulp for over 30 years. As one of a handful of artists working in this exciting medium, she is something of a pioneer, internationally recognized by galleries and collectors like. Her focus on nature and the environment yields stunning landscapes, seascapes, New England scenes and garden views. Read more at http://megblack.com/.

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"Since 1978, Care Dimensions has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in more than 90 communities in Eastern Massachusetts."