Remembering Francis Hatfield,

I have woken this monday morning on the blue side though I guess it was to be expected. Happy though I am to be home, there is a bit of a mess to clear up with gardens and house issues. Old rural places have the ability to start the process of coming undone in a matter of days. I miss my far and away girl and know it will be time between our next hug though access of calls and computer magic fill the gap as best they can. The problem with teaching kids to dream big dreams, and to know they can go wherever they want to, is, sometimes in fact they do!

Along with that a goodbye to a lovely woman who passed last winter was shared with friends in the sunshine this weekend. I did not know her well, I went in part to support a dear friend who was offering a eulogy and to share an afternoon as she so generously did with me a couple of winters past when I was newer in the arts community. I met my friend who introduced us, joined by another wonderful photographer at that time preparing for a show with Francis. The four of us made short work of a couple of hours looking at some pieces of each of our work and talking ideas. We planned to meet again, but that day didn’t happen as life gets busy and connecting four busy lives becomes a challenge.

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The celebration of the life of Francis Hatfield will continue in shared memories of the deep friendships and connections of family -and the blurred lines between those who wove the network of her community. Saturday it included the Armstrong gallery hanging a sampling of her work through the years. Pieces from the orchard series, along with some vibrant abstracts, a beautiful self portrait, pieces of pottery in the most amazing juxtapositions with fibre art and found items. Francis work was primitive and sophisticated, complex and accessible, she was a mixture of things unconstrained and that is what shone through. Someone said, she didn’t play artist games, it was about the work she loved and oh how wonderful is that statement!

I remember on our meeting someone taller than I had imagined, slim and elegant, long strong fingers sporting heavy silver rings, a thick auburn braid and dancing eyes. Those who came to pay respects and those who knew Francis on a deeper level came together in a beautiful eclectic group of people that looked like a painting, perhaps a mural for the enderby walls she helped create.  Some read poems, some sang songs, a drum group was stepping to the podium when I had to slip away to catch my ride. Good byes are a challenge, but the quote on the memorial page was a gift, from Francis to her son in law, and one we could all carry away and I offer it now to each of you,

“There was never a time when I  did not exist, nor you, nor any of these kings.  Nor is there any future in which we will cease to be.” Bhagavad Gita

shine shine shine, little lights shine.


4 thoughts on “Remembering Francis Hatfield,

  1. Thank you for this. My weekend was caught up with my children and although I had all intentions of going to the Celebration of Life I didn’t remember til it was almost over. I knew it would be a wonderful celebration. I had only met her a couple times, once when she was having a show at her home. I love her vibrant colors in her artwork and her home. I had a sense of a beautiful woman and when I talked with her, I was humbled. She seemed wise, confident and worldly. So many experiences, so many year as an artist. Lovely lady!

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  2. I met Francis at a Wiccan gathering. It was lovely around a fire at the Grindrod Park, bringing in the Winter Solstice. ❤ Yes she is tall. We don't meet too many tall ones, age becomes an equalizer, everyone gets a wee bit smaller. I remember this group of women referred to as "crones". It was a very enlightening evening. ❤ Lovely woman, a life well lived.

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