Sunday, November 16, 2014


   It has been said that a picture speaks a thousand words. That is so true. My watercolour of an owl that I painted back in 1987 did not just speak a thousand words  . . .  it delivered a heartfelt speech!

    "Look at my chest, my belly and my wings. They have no definition. My tail is half rendered and the details are missing. If not for my head that you managed to fill in before you put your brush away, it would have been difficult to tell if I were a confused bird or a feathered cat. At least with my fully dilated eyes, everyone will know that I am The Unfinished Owl.

     I get tickles from the title you have given me. You sure have a good sense of humour. For the 27 dormant years you made me wait, there is no doubt, Procrastination is the perfect name. It is quite amusing. It makes people laugh. But arguably, procrastinator - you are not. You are simply a man who knows his priorities; giving importance to what matters the most.

    From the day you walked away, in every year that passed, I watched you balance your precious time. Between your two other passions: photography and writing, you chose to put your family first. And what amazed me more than anything else, in the midst of your busy life, you always have time to say a prayer and be grateful to your God, each day.

     After all those years, you have grown so much older. The youthful looks have vanished. But beyond this ageing artist standing before me, I see a self-fulfilled man who has lived a simple, yet meaningful life.

    Look at you now. A grandfather to four adorable grandchildren and still happily married to the same woman you love. You must be proud. All the Christian values you taught your three daughters are exemplified in the persons they have become; inspired and driven by their father's positive outlook in life.

   With your unyielding perseverance, you challenged your own limitations. Unafraid to push boundaries that stood on your way, eventually validating yourself as an accomplished photographer and a published writer.

    The underlying message in your photography as well as the spirituality in your writings have brightened one's gloomy day, touched some hearts and have inspired many others.

    True to your words that good things happen only at the right place and at the right time, you proved that it was worth the long wait. The day you returned and had me framed, I had a feeling that something good was about to unfold. And with the stamp of approval from an art juror, my hunch was reaffirmed. I knew then, there was no turning back. Nothing could stop us. You and I were on our way . . . heading in full speed to our first ever -- Art Exhibition!

   There, at the 2014 Art Guild of Scarborough Fall Art Show and Sale, you made me feel like the most valuable painting in the world. The hefty tag price you had put on me was flattering, and your hope that no one else could afford to take me home was even more endearing. Your wicked style made me stand out above the rest. In the midst of the art exhibits, I was one of a kind. Whimsically unfinished, unique and so original; worthy of recognition and award.

     Finally, I am happy that the waiting is over. Now is my time to rise and shine. It feels good that after 27 years, I am not incomplete after all. In the next two decades, I may out-live you. But as I continue to exist, my big nocturnal eyes will forever reflect your brilliance, artistry, originality and your story.

    To you my dear friend and my creator, thank you for keeping me in your family. I am deeply honoured to be a part of a legacy that your children, grandchildren and future generations will remember you by."

                                                                 -The Great Horned Owl

The 2014 Art Guild of Scarborough Fall Art Show and Sale

Warm reactions from fellow procrastinators.
The Procrastination Team: The Owl and The Artist
showing off the Honourable Mention Award


Anonymous said...

So it's true what they say about owls, Mario. Very wise words indeed...

Helen (Laycock)

Unknown said...

Very powerful and witty words, you are SUPER Mario in the name of GOD and everyone. Thank you for sharing your talent.

Teresa Hall said...

A wonderful commentary from your wise friend, the owl...