Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bernice Snowden 1951 -2007

Chrysanthemum
6.5" x 8.25" graphite on vellum
copyright Estate of Bernice Snowden

I was very saddened yesterday to hear of the passing of a really lovely lady. "bsnowden" was a member of Wet Canvas website and was somebody who started in the Coloured Pencil Forum and then moved across to also post in the Drawing and Sketching Forum where she pursued the Drawing 101 course and other activities within that forum. These were both forums in which I was active in BB (before blogging). As a result I'd rather lost touch with her but there are some people who you always remember and Bernice is very definitely one of those. I'd like to remember her here today.

I think only people who are members of Wet Canvas will be able to access the following links - but this was her profile page where she describes herself as "optimistic/romantic" - and her optimism is one of the things that always shone through - that and her patience. Her interests revolved around her music, her poems, her artwork and her crafts.

This is the link to all the threads she started - one for each new piece of art. I wonder if she ever finished that drawing of her beloved guitar? I know that she was drawing while in hospital, that her artwork will be shared with her family and friends today at her funeral and that she wanted to give much of it to people in her family. I remember Bernice vividly from one particular thread where we all joined in with her ('swamped' might be a better word!) in trying to work out how best to tackle developing a drawing of her granddaughters on a tractor in a field - which was an idea which came from a memory of hers of something long ago.

My pal Wendy included this poem in her blog post about Bernice and I'd like to share it with you. I've never come across it before.

When Earths Last Picture is Painted - Rudyard Kipling

When Earth's last picture is painted
And the tubes are twisted and dried
When the oldest colors have faded
And the youngest critic has died
We shall rest, and faith, we shall need it
Lie down for an aeon or two
'Till the Master of all good workmen
Shall put us to work anew
And those that were good shall be happy
They'll sit in a golden chair
They'll splash at a ten league canvas
With brushes of comet's hair
They'll find real saints to draw from
Magdalene, Peter, and Paul
They'll work for an age at a sitting
And never be tired at all.
And only the Master shall praise us.
And only the Master shall blame.
And no one will work for the money.
No one will work for the fame.
But each for the joy of the working,
And each, in his separate star,
Will draw the thing as he sees it.
For the God of things as they are!

Orange Lily
8" x 10" coloured pencil
copyright Estate of Bernice Snowden

9 comments:

jafabrit said...

What a lovely tribute to a fellow artist and member of wet canvas. What a sad loss :(

Karen said...

What an absolutely lovely tribute.
Such a gift she gave to the world in her beautiful work.

"JeanneG" said...

Very nice memories. I really like the poem.

Katherine said...

I had to leave for a meeting this morning without checking the links. Even if you are logged in as a member the links won't work for you.

However WC MEMBERS ONLY can see the links as follows:
(1)top blue line of WC - go to second item from left - member services
(2)click and choose member directory from the menu,
(3)next go the right of the screen and find 'search member' (just below alpha line), click and then write 'bsnowden'and click Go - this brings up her entry in the directory
(4)click on her user name 'bsnowden' - this brings up Bernice's profile
(5)click on 'find all threads started by bsnowden' brings up all Bernice's threads

Jeanette said...

Oh my...my heart has skipped a beat when I read this. I talked back and forth with Bernice and worked alongside her on projects in WetCanvas.

Her work was lovely and so was she. The world is losing a wonderful artist and person.

Katherine said...

I felt sure that some people had missed the announcement.

It's always such a shock isn't it? For me it also feels so poignant that somebody we never ever met face to face and only ever knew through words and images on the internet should cause so many people to have real regret about her passing......and to feel a real privilege to have known something of her qualities during her lifetime.

MrsSnowy said...

I'd missed this terribly sad news, too, so thank you Katherine. I met Bernice when we were heavily involved in Troy Rochford's graphite portrait tutorial on WetCanvas. Great bonding can happen through these forums and it takes something like this to bring home just how strong those bonds can be, even without meeting a friend like Bernice, face to face.

Jana Bouc said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I didn't know this wonderful artist but the Kipling poem brought me to tears. In typical blogworld synchronicity, it addressed some issues about art and aging I've been struggling with the past few days. Reading it was incredibly healing and moving. I just knew I had to visit your blog before I started my day today and I'm so glad I did.

ellemacquarrie said...

You never know how great the loss until it happens to you. You can't begin to imagine the void the passisg of one person can make in your soul.

In this case I not only lost my Sister, but my best freind and confidante. It is a loss I feel with greater intensity every day.

She always said "Tomorrow I'll be better".

Little things like messages posted here help keep her bright light burnig.

She is an Angel now and still continues to send us "little miracles" to remind us of the infinate possibilities of life.

Keep--trying.


Bernice's sister, Lisette

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