Sunday 30 June 2013


Oil paints on canvas board - Jez
I wanted to share with you a couple of unfinished portraits of my daughter Carol.  They are just the second level of under-paintings, and for some reason they were never finished.

Although I have always drawn faces, and copied faces from newspapers and magazines, this was the first time I tried to paint a portrait from life.

Oil paints on fine grain canvas board.
14" x 18" - Jez
This is the full size of the picture, but I think I prefer the digital crop that I showed at the top.  At the time she was just 18 years old - 36 years ago.

Is it a good resemblance?  Well not quite, but both Dev and I feel it shows her beauty, calmness and reserve, and something of her brave, determined character.

Blue Oil Paint on canvas board - Jez
This is a digital crop of a blue version I tried at the same time - again unfinished.  Now that it is displayed here I see a diagonal line of shadow at the top, cast by the window when I was taking the photograph for this post.

This is the full painting. The paintings have suffered a bit from be stored one on top of another in various cupboards over the years.  It's not quite as like her as the one with the yellow background.

Whatever their artistic value, these unfinished paintings are beyond price for Dev and me.  They are more personal than a photograph and incorporate memories of that time.

Our dear, beloved daughter Carol died last week, after years of struggle with an inoperable brain tumour.  At last she is at peace.

I would also like to share with you a poem I wrote - and put away - when she was first diagnosed in 1995.

This poem is about EVERY mother's relationship with a daughter, and the extent to which a mother's love can put right all problems.   These are not all events that happened to Carol, who was fortunate enough to have a happy marriage and a wonderful, caring husband and family.

                                     KISS IT BETTER MUMMY

                         I've hurt my knee, Mummy,
                         kiss it better.

                         I broke my doll, Mummy,
                         mend it please.

                         I lost my coat, Mummy,
                         say it doesn't matter.

                         My boyfriend left me,
                         help me see it through.

                         I crashed the car, Mum,
                         pay the garage bill please.

                         My husband's been unfaithful,
                         hug me, please.

                         You've always solved the problems,
                          I've relied on you.

                         I have a tumour on my brain,
                         kiss it better, Mummy.

Thank you for reading this tribute to our lovely daughter.

Linking to Paint Party Friday


  1. My heart breaks for you Jez, at this terribly sad time, you knew it was coming but that doesn't make it any easier. Your art and your terribly poignant poem make a great tribute to your lovely daughter xx

  2. This is such a moving post. I love these beautiful, serene portraits: a wonderful tribute to your daughter. The poem moved me to tears. Julie Ann xx

  3. My thoughts are with you :( Pam / Psychodiva

  4. I feel your sadness, Jez. So sorry to hear your sad news, it is an awful thing to happen. Your painting of her is good, and I hope it brings back happy memories for you. Valerie

  5. Oh Jez, if only everything that was broken could be kissed better... such beautiful portraits of Carol, with her thick chestnut hair. A moving tribute to a brave and beautiful daughter from a very proud and brave Mother. much love x

  6. *choked up* my older sister Carol died of cancer when we were just 7 and 9....what fabulous treasures to have. They may be unfinished, but the essence of the moments spent together while painting them is never ending. I too have unfinished paintings of my children when they were sleeping, but somehow it seems wrong to try and finish them so many years later. When I look at them I can still smell them, and feel the calmness of those moments. Bless you in your sorry <3 XXX

  7. Oh Jez thinking of you at this sad sad time, the poem is beautiful as is the art. Sending you all my love - thinking of you!


  8. My heart and love goes out to you and your family. I am so glad you felt able to share these paintings with us though, they are very moving. So so sorry for your loss. God bless.

  9. Wow, so beautiful! ♥
    I'm sorry for your loss... It must be the most devastating thing in the world to loose your baby...

  10. Jez, I'm so sorry to read this. I don't know what to say or even if anything I could say would help. The art and the poem are beautiful - I have a lump in my throat from the poem. My thoughts are with you and Dev x

  11. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings and art with us. Your daughter was a very brave and beautiful lady. No words can express the sadness I feel for you and your family Jez. Sending you my love. XXX

  12. Oh, dear Jez, my heart goes out to you and all your family <3 My eyes are blurred with tears at your wonderful poem, so very moving. The portraits are a wonderful tribute and more precious than words can say. Sending you wishes for healing hearts :)

  13. Jez, my heart aches for you and Dev - having read several of Carol's post on her blog - and seeing her art - she truly was a brave and remarkable woman. Thinking of you both. hugs and much love, Dana

  14. What a moving tribute Jez to your wonderful daughter. Thank you for sharing your beautiful portrait and poem, the art and words are indeed priceless. There is a quiet braveness which resonates from your portrait, it feels a meeting of your brave and Carol's brave. Holding you and your family in my heart Jez. xx

  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Karen, I'm so sorry, I accidentally hit the delete button instead of publish and lost your very kind comment, which I treasure, and there seems no way to get it back. I am really not in the best mode for doing things at the moment, so please forgive me.

  16. This post makes me cry tears of greif for a friend, tears of love as a mum, tears of sadness for the loss of a woman, tears for the beautiful art transpired from it all. She was a beautiful girl, and I love how you captured the natural wave in her hair that looks like very thick hair too! I love the cropped but would miss the lovely flip on the hair had we not seen the full painting. The poem says so much....very powerful..She would be so proud of you and how you are coping through creativity....

    Love to you and yours!
    Hugs Giggles

  17. Awesome pictures and I really like this poem!
    Cheers from Artist´s Playroom

  18. Jez this is a wonderful tribute and my heart is breaking for you... I so wish I could sit and have a cuppa with you, but sadly I am half a world away so I muist content myself with cyber hugs which feel very inadequate... know that you are in my thoughts...xx

  19. My heart goes to you my friend. I lost a good friend of mine last Sunday. We've been friends for more than twenty years.It always hard.Your work is lovely.Peace.

  20. A wonderful and unique keepsake. I think there are no words for this loss. All the very love from my heart to you!

  21. I am so very sorry for your loss, Carol. This is a beautiful tribute.

  22. So sorry to hear of your heart breaking loss. Maybe having those painting around will help you heal. It sounds like you had a marvelous relationship. Maybe painting on them will help you deal with the grief. xox

  23. A wonderful tribute, so sorry for your loss. Beautiful work.

  24. Jez

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your beautiful daughter Carol. Your paintings are beautiful - they capture a calmness and a strength in your daughter's face. My own daughter also died form a brain tumour and I always feel that I let her down because I couldn't make it better so your poem brought tears to my eyes. There is nothing that I can say that will make it better but my heart goes out to your family and all those who loved Carol.

  25. This is a wonderful post. I know how hard this is for you and I send healing hugs.

  26. Oh Jez, I'm so so sorry to read this. To have been struggling with this awful disease for so many years must be heartbreaking. She looks like a kind strong woman, and she will be missed so badly. Sending lots of hugs your way ... ♥

  27. I am sitting here with a heavy heavy heart and tears not far away at the pain you must be in. I have no words except to tell you that you are all in my thoughts and I am sending you my love, for what it is worth. xx

  28. I am so sorry to hear of Carols passing, may she rest in peace. Thank you for sharing the beautiful paintings of her and the heart breaking poem you wrote. My thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time.

  29. I can't even imagine your pain - we should not have to bury our children. Your post was so lovely - and what a wonderful memory piece - I think it's a place where both of you coexist - Carol as the "poser" and you as the artist. My prayers are for you and Carol's family.


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