Felix in 2019 Finalist of Kingston Prize for Canadian Portraiture 2019

I am struck by the expression on his face. I felt it needed to be shared. The intensity of his gaze is not just his own. As I look at his face I am confronted with my own feelings: anxiety, uneasiness, and maybe, perhaps hope? Felix is 22 years old. He is a considerate, kind, sometimes silly, fun, lovely guy, like so many people of his generation. He seldom looks that distressed. This portrait mirrors the thought of the future manifesting itself. Can we tell Felix: “Relax, don’t worry”? Doesn’t it make sense simply to face the future, however scary it might be, and get on with working on solutions? Doesn’t it make sense to do this instead of denying that there is fear in our hearts and fear in our children’s eyes? I don’t want to merely hope for a livable future on a livable planet, I want to work for it. I don’t hope. I know. The people with angst in their faces are already working for it …

As I was painting this portrait I came across this:
The activists, all born after 1990, unfurled a banner asking: “Are we the last generation?” as dozens of police prevented them from blocking the road. The protesters said they were risking arrest to highlight the dangers of climate change. “To everyone reading about this, I’m here because I love you and fear for your future and my future,” said Oscar Idle, 17, from Bristol. “It’s that love and that fear that gives me courage.”

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