This is summer while on a stroll through the little shops of Downtown Langley I stopped to take a quick look into Langley Antiques. On the top of a pile of older black and whites was a picture that grabbed my soul and said" "Don't die before you reach your dreams." I wondered who the painter was and who was this Admiral Blake? Being a bit of a History and One course Wonder in ART History, none of my information fit. It was as if a perfect stranger grabbing you by your heart strings and telling you the deepest secrets of your soul. I had to know . Who was this ? What was the story? It resonated so powerfully. Was it the perhaps the Captain of the Mayflower ? No the costumes were too bright. But still it has this Pilgrim Longing for the promised land.I was sure that was what the artist wanted to say under his painting. Don't Die before your Dream.The the colors were like the maple leaves in fall from the valley back home. The collective sorrow of the group all knowing how much this man had wanted to reach land , won me . I thought perhaps it was from a PreRaphelite period painter which is a period but have none of so for an amazing $3.00 a little summer mystery to solve and it came home.
It's not that the art is worth some great amount. It is however a lithograph or book page from a 19 th century painter who was known for his art work of maritime scenes and each picture says something to you. It not simply a pretty picture , there is a message beyond the painting. Somewhat like painters for their promotion of a cause,McCormick speaks to you across the ages and captures a poignant moment in time. It's the classic description of a painting speaks a thousand words. So what am I to learn from this picture and painter ? Come along for a little mystery journey
The painting is of Admiral Blake a young Captain on the side of Cornwall, and thus the pilgrim flavor, had just won a sea battle and afflicted by his injuries died on the return voyage. According to the poet Sir Henry Newbolt ,within view of the white cliffs and trees but never again be on the soil of home. Along with the picture and the artist I had also never read the poem so it was all new territory. I call it a God Gift when I am sent off on one of these little curiosity studies that speaks so deeply to my pilgrim heart.
Bridgetown : Hometown of Admiral Blake : Bio
The Death of Admiral Blake Sir Henry Newbolt ( poem)
A. D Mc Cormick RI http://www.firecrestbookshop.co.uk/original-tipped-in-print-1914-death-of-admiral-black-by-ad-mccormick-ri--vintage-colour-2004-p.asp