I was x-country skiing in the woods behind my Campbellville studio today.  The warm sun was breaking through the trees and pushing blue shadows around.  I was musing on how hypervigilance has occasionally been exhausting for me over the years but has now morphed into an intensity of observing that is painfully exquisite for painting.

“Hypervigilance is an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviors whose purpose is to detect activity. Hypervigilance may bring about a state of increased anxiety which can cause exhaustion.” so saith Wikipedia

Campbellville Ontario, Canada

My thoughts turned poetic and as they do, caught on to other thinking head threads and I gave a shout out to my nephew Dave Newlove (April 14, 1989 – January 30, 2013) who died by suicide in winter five years ago. Suicide hotline Canada 


I Learned at the age of four
to look around
Perfected at 8
Dissembled and drowned from fifteen to twenty-one
and found, I let my guard down
I lost a Newlove:
hung at twenty-three when I was catching forty
to sound to light to cutting shapes
and shapely things
a headache, a heartache
a new painting

Dave’s been in a number of my paintings over the years starting with watercolours and drawings of him as a child, in some of my poetry and featuring prominently in my 2008 exhibition PROTECTION.  The gallery below shows 6 images on this page and 4 more on the second page.