Doug (24″ x 36″ Digital 2D on Canvas)

A few years ago, my friend Doug asked me to paint his portrait. I quickly accepted without applying thought about a timeline or deadline. Since then, life’s “busy-ness” ensued with work, art projects, birthdays, anniversaries, travel, etc. Meanwhile, I constantly slid Doug’s portrait down my “to do” list.

Since then, Doug’s health has waxed and waned. Recently, I felt surmountable pressure to complete his portrait while he still has energy and time to enjoy the finished painting.

I admire Doug. He’s thoughtful, kind, and gentle-hearted. He’s a talented artist, musician, photographer, videographer, and friend. Doug is also self aware and open minded. As many of us do, he struggles to find harmony between his mental and physical wellbeing. Despite this, I’ve always known him to be honest about his struggles, always striving towards improvement.

Part of me sorely regrets not starting Doug’s portrait as soon as he asked. This side of me wishes I was able to complete it while his health was optimal so he could enjoy it without reservations. However, an alternate part of me is thankful for the lesson: relationships are fragile, precious, and beautiful gifts. Yes it’s cliché, but make the most of your time spent with your loved ones. Be *present* in their presence, keep your promises, forgive quickly, and love authentically.

I’m forever changed by our friendship. Thank You Doug.