The artist

Vankleek Hill artist

I don’t normally “share” or “become actively involved” or “participate” or “feel”. Not because I wouldn’t care about you or your cause if you told me about it, it’s just the personal interaction I want to avoid. For sure, if you were laying on the street on fire, I’d definitely stop and help — of course, like Peter Parker, I’d stop and set up my camera first. Not to record myself for personal glory, it’s just, damn, you’re on fire and all that.

So I’m still not sure why I decided to help this girl. Actually, I’m not even sure if I did help her, but I did try, and that’s not something I usually do.

Without getting into too much detail, this is Hailey, she’s nine-years old. Her mom is friends with my girlfriend, her youngest brother is friends with my son. Hailey had a stroke almost immediately after being born. It left her partially paralyzed on her right side, and with significant brain damage.

She’s a pretty active kid, lots of sports, surgeries, struggles, stuff. Last year she discovered art, and it turns out she’s pretty frigging good at it.

So, after hearing her mom talk about her, and seeing a few of her pieces, I put Hailey in touch with some local artists (Vankleek Hill = artist haven), and collected some material for her, and a friend of mine, who works at the Ottawa Citizen, passed her story on to an editor. [Link: here]

Long story short: I have no idea if anything I did helped, but I think I made her life a little more interesting for a few days. Which is good, because no one needs another bored nine-year old walking the streets.

tl;dr: The Citizen needed photos of Hailey, so I took a few. They chose the wrong one for their online story, and a meh one for the print version. This is the one I liked… even with the chandelier growing out of her head.

Vankleek Hill Photos copyright

6 thoughts on “The artist

    • Thanks for commenting, and you’re welcome. That piece she’s holding was her first, and she’s self-taught. On one level I’m not sure that level of talent, at such a young age, is really fair… but then I think of all the walls she has had to push through and climb over and blow up just to be standing there (ie: she had to teach herself to be left-handed), and I think, “oh, right: effort, dedication, work.” — I am always in awe of people who can do all three.

      Thanks again…


    • I’m not sure I’ve mastered the “well-adjusted” part yet, but I am trying. In the past couple of days I’ve actually been in touch with the people running our local gallery, the curator has agreed to help Hailey with material and some other stuff, and I think I’ll be helping out the gallery with their fund raising. Which would mean leaving my cave. Which might be healthy.

      Thanks (very much) for coming over.


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