To Celebrate John Amey
There are so many things that could be said about John Amey, it is difficult to know where to begin.
I called John my friend, and felt honored and blessed to be able to do so. He was a man that touched everyone he met, with his gentle demeanor, and a kindness that made all feel welcome and accepted. As I think back, I don't specifically recall the first time we met. Not because it was insignificant, but because his friendship made me feel as though we had known each other all of our lives. He had a way of making everyone feel that way.
John had a love of farming and of the land, and an old world way of existing among his animals and his maple orchards. Nothing it seemed was taken for granted, and all was part of the ebb and flow, of life, and love, and earthly blessings.
He celebrated music and kinship in his beautiful valley, surrounded by family and friends, with joyful gatherings beneath the stars, or in his farmhouse kitchen. The peacefulness of those evenings forever etched in the hearts of all who gathered with his family.
He served as a mentor, and respected leader, for youngsters and adults alike. He was one man among our village, that truly stepped up to raising and guiding the children in his home, and throughout the community. My own children included among the many.
He was an advocate for what is right, just, and decent, standing strong when so many outside influences threatened to destroy the fabric of our town, and the beauty he so admired.
He was one of the strongest supporters in my endeavors as an artist, for which I will always be eternally grateful. I remember the twinkle in his eye, and his pleased smile, after he'd purchased his first painting as a gift for his wife. They each gifted paintings to each other in quiet secrecy, and I was so thankful my work found a place in their hearts and home.
Painting John's portrait was an incredible honor.....and one of the most difficult portraits I've done. Not due to the process, but because he was my friend. There were a few times that I spoke to him, telling him, "John, you're going to have to help me, because I can't see to paint with tears in my eyes." Then I would begin to laugh, knowing he would have chuckled and retorted a quick response reflecting his wonderful yankee sense of humor.
I will be forever grateful to have known John, to have been one of hundreds who were touched by him. I am pleased and humbled to have painted his portrait, and pray the painting will bring joy to his family for many generations to come.