Tired and Weary

Please meet Ian

Ian works doing drive through COVID testing.  At his location they have lines of cars that wait their turn to be tested.  There can be cars filled with families of all ages, cars with crying kids that have been in the line in their car with the windows rolled up for far too long.  Individuals that have appointments, meetings, or places to be as time passes them by and they missed their opportunity to make it on time as they wait their turn.  You can have couples that have come to the end of their rope as they listen to the other person in the car complaining that they had to wait in the line for so long.  All waiting for their turn to be tested to see if they have the virus.  As each car roles up for their turn to be tested, these Front-Line Heroes hear the same questions, when will I know the results, what do we do next, how long does the virus last, the big question why it has taken them so long to reach the front of the line of cars, each car so full of questions.  Each carload of people all wanting to know the same as exhaustion encompasses all.   The people in the cars can be asymptomatic or sick with signs of having COVID-19.  Yet these Front-Line Heroes push on through all types of weather on to the next car, next question, next good or bad disposition of the person they are testing. 


When I received the photo reference, I was told Ian always has a smile. There are some people no matter how tired and weary they are their eyes still smile.  It’s built into their makeup, their personality, that perpetual kindness that radiates from their eyes.

Looking at the reference photo what captured my heart was the weariness on his face, the droop in his shoulders but yet there is that smile. That smile in his eyes.

In the photo he is sitting on the ground under a tent leaning against a pole with a thermos next to him.  As I look at the reference photo looking to capture the essence of Ian in this painting I wonder what is in the thermos, water that is warm or maybe a beverage that is still being kept cold and is somewhat still refreshing.  There are no sides to the tent, it is just offering protection from the sun as Ian sits and rests.  Is he on a break, is this lunch or is this the end of his long shift?   I’m hoping this is the end of his shift and he is resting before he can head home. Home to his loved ones.

In the painting my goal was to capture that weariness you see, the weariness on his face and his posture.  The shadows in and around his eyes.  It penetrates to my core how tired and weary he is.  But I also wanted to capture his smile, that smile that let’s me know there is still hope and caring in our crazy world.

The Front-Line Heroes paintings in this series, each one speaks to me and my mind’s eye relaying how it needs to be painted.  Ian needs no background, tent or poles showing in this painting.  Just Ian, his tiredness, weariness and that smile. His smile that is always there in his eyes.  The love for life he has. I hope this is what people see as they look at Ian’s painting, they see his everlasting smile and love for life.

“Tired and Weary” is done on Archival Stongehenge Aqua 140lb Cold Press watercolor paper with Brusho and graphite pencil. Brusho colors used Prussian Blue, Lemon and Alizarin Crimson.