24” x 30” mixed media (watercolor, colored pencil, gouache) on wood panel.

This piece is an homage to my dearly departed best friend, Macie, who passed into the undying lands in July. She was the one steadfast being – always at my side – in times of joy and grief, contentment and fear. I am a long-time lover of Lord Of The Rings, and have always felt that the friendships – primarily Sam and Frodo – were the best part of the story. Naturally, that inspired the concept for this piece, and as someone who retouches images of jewelry for a living, I have joked for years that she was my Sam. She would come up to me and put her paw on my arm as I worked late into the night, and kept me from being alone even when I could not bear the company of humans. Even though she is no longer with me in body, her spirit lingers, lighting the dark places, and reminding me that love and friendship never die.

I chose a limited palette for this piece to capture the magical and ethereal feeling I wished to communicate. The forms were rendered primarily in watercolor, with final details added in gouache and colored pencil. The filigree border was cut by hand, embossed, and painted with two different gold paints to simulate the warm look of gold leaf.

Created for “Friend” at Mize Gallery, November 2022

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