TRIBUTE TO DORIS MCCARTHY
I have taken time I needed to reflect. Losing someone you Love deeply is difficult no matter how old they are. We have received so many messages daily from those who were touched by her work, by her spirit.
November 25th, early in the morning Doris passed away. The news spread fast. CBC radio from Calgary called before noon. It was too difficult to speak. Later in the day they called back. I had taken a drive to Jasper Lake and walked among the sand dunes where we had sat and painted so often and so many years ago. I was able to speak later that day and did my very best to explain how she had touched so many people in such a very positive way. An outrageous number of posts began to flood the internet. Some were wonderful tributes, some were self serving and I think in bad taste.
The day that Doris passed away and all that week I had difficulty breathing. Imagining a world without my dear friend was impossible. We all knew it was coming however ten years ago when I could barely keep up to her grueling pace, we joked that it was clear she would live forever.
December 5th at St. Aidan Anglican Church in Toronto a very powerful service took place.
The church was lit up. The atmosphere was warm, and charged with emotion. A very large choir was behind the sanctuary and faced the congregation. The Church was
adorned with Liturgical art original McCarthy's, the carving on the cross carried in the processional, the Christmas creche , wood carvings. A large wall hanging at the back of the church, and the Pall draped on the coffin, red with gold leaves, were all great works designed and crafted by Doris. I was asked to do one of the readings - It was a great honor. I practiced the piece 20 times and it was read with affection. I felt it was the last gift I could give her.
Just a few days ago, I cleaned the mud from her grave side from my winter boots. For some strange reason that dirt made me feel close to her. Absurd , I know.
Doris believed that God is Love, and that love exists deep in the heart of every man, and needs to be nurtured. Inspired by some of the intellectual controversial views
expressed in "conversations with God," Doris believed that infinity reaches as far in as it does out, and that the past, present and future can become one.
If you knew her, you loved her. The most generous spirit, compassionate, and an immense passion for "Life Long Learning."
My favourite written tribute was by The Honorable John McKay, Scarborough Resident.
"Great art can define a nation, and define its image of itself. A painter of the Canadian landscape, McCarthy possessed more than mere brilliance at her craft, but also a deep insight into the profound connection that attaches Canadians to our solemn land.
She continued the artistic traditions of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, building on their legacy and imprinting her vision of our natural world onto the Canadian psyche.
As Pierre Trudeau once wrote:
"I know a man whose school could never teach him patriotism, but who acquired that virtue when he felt in his bones the vastness of this land..."
This is the spirit that moved Doris McCarthy, and it is a spirit which moves us still. She will be missed. " -Mountain Galleries Executive Director, Wendy Wacko