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  • Penny Gunderson

Kevin, Loss


I was visiting Haida Gwaii, the former Queen Charlotte Islands, with two friends. I met Kevin at Queen Charlotte City, BC. He was sitting on a bench outside a store. He looked pretty down and out. He told me his house had burned down a few days before in Old Masset at the top of the Graham Island on the Reserve. We had heard about the house fire a few days before.

He offered me an amulet to purchase. He had carved it out of a black stone. It was a Raven symbol since he belonged to the Raven Clan. I purchased the amulet from him and asked him if I could take his photo to paint an encaustic portrait of him. He was pleased to pose and told me his blue gray eyes were inherited from his father who was Irish.

I asked where I could send a photo of the painting to when I finished it. He told me to send it to Kevin care of Queen Charlotte City Post Office since he was homeless. Before I left the islands I saw that there was an online fundraiser for Kevin and the other man who had lost their home.

I decided to name this portrait Kevin: Loss because Kevin had such a lost look in his eyes as I painted it.

This painting was challenging since it was the first time I had used the iron on a face in a portrait. I liked the way the hair and the face blended and smoothed while I pressed the wax. This is my current favourite portrait.

#Haida #RavenClan #Kevin #EncausticPortrait #Encasuticiron #housefire

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