Lost and Adrift


My beloved Rocko, companion and friend for 16 years…1998-2014

This is the first painting after the loss of my beloved Rocko, I will miss that little dog for the rest of my life.  We grew up and grew old together, he was there for me when no other person was, or could be, I have lost the best companion in the world.  I have for the last few weeks been lost and out of focus with life.  He is in a better place, and I am left to learn anew, how to work without him in my life, and I owe it to him and myself to do just that.

Long Boats: Adrift is a marriage of my LongBoats and Red Herring series.  I am working on this painting in oil and cold wax, so the surface is pregnant with marks and textures that create an aged; yet ethereal feeling to the painting.  I think this is a good way to begin again for me personally, to lean on the past and search for the future.  The transport of the boat is both literal and and philosophical on many levels in my work as are the red herrings, both are prevalent thoughts in my studio right now.

I put little reminders of my life in the textures and embedded into the surface, a bittersweet reminder of life gone by.

Red Herrings- Adrift small size detail of the memory strings

I try to  challenge myself with each figure I paint; to create something that is new and exemplifies my current state of being.  I found this figure did just that for me.  The figure is above it all; yet still tied to things below, very much the way my life feels.  I am here but my mind is still tethered to the past, yet as an optimistic fisherman I am hopeful.

Red Herrings- Adrift small size

LongBoats: Adrift  by Cathy Hegman  oil and wax on wood  36 x 24.

Red Herrings- Adrift

Thank you for reading my blog.  I am grateful to you, and especially to those who have supported me in love and kindness these past few weeks.  It never goes unnoticed and it has helped me in ways you will never know.

Take care,

Cathy Hegman


*All artwork and text included in this blog is copyright protected by Cathy Hegman and should not be reproduced in any form or fashion or used without the written permission of Cathy Hegman. All text and artwork included in this blog are solely the thoughts and original art of the artist, Cathy Hegman, unless otherwise noted, and are meant only to be guidelines and thoughts for others to read.

About Cathy S. Hegman

Art, much like a road links people together both visually and mentally. One can attain a glimpse inside the artist’s soul by studying the artist’s work, and perhaps find something that links them to the artist and the art. A work of art has the ability to resonate and touch the emotions without regard to age, gender, race, or religion through the application of pigment to canvas or paper. Art can be the voice that cries out without limits, or sometimes whispers the thoughts of the creator. Art speaks silently, yet conjures up feelings and gives satisfaction that is undeniable, and yet intrinsic. It validates our need to learn about ourselves, and gives us freedom to search for our own identities. The road is long and often dusty, but always renewing the spirit with inspiration. It is my hope in this lifetime to give a part of what I have learned through and on my journey with others. The deepest form of us is revealed in our thoughts and my art is the translation of my thoughts to paper and canvas. I paint layers of color and line to create a history of marks that will guide the viewer into my world of thought and engage them in the process. I embed personal symbols throughout my art to give it deeper meaning. I encourage you to think about life in a visual way and to contemplate our connections with each other and the world we share.
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18 Responses to Lost and Adrift

  1. Bridgette says:

    Beautiful and powerful painting. Even without reading about the loss of your beloved companion, I can sense a feeling of loss/melancholy in the figure, but moving forward. I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Bridgette, Thank you! I am glad it was a good representation of my feelings…I don’t like the feelings, they are not pleasant; but it feels good to know I can convey the emotion in my work…it somehow feels comforting to get it out and in the open or on canvas….Thank you for reading my blog and especially for taking the time to comment!
      Take care,

  2. judyshreve says:

    Cathy, your work always pulls at my heartstrings – there’s a longing, an emotional quality that’s hard to describe in all of your work. And it’s apparent in this piece even without the sad tale of losing your companion. I am so sorry.
    I lost a long time companion a couple of years ago. I was devastated and ‘saw’ him for months – in the shadows, just around the corner.
    The only way I was able to recover was to invite another dog into my home. Sounds heartless – but these creatures have such an amazing talent for giving exactly what you need. I still miss my other dog all the time, but this new guy makes me laugh. So I hope that healing happens for you.

  3. Love this painting… very powerful and touching. I lost my most beloved dog of 14 years, last year and haven’t been able to address it yet in my art 😦 thank you for sharing this.

    • Thank you Renee, I had a hard time finding my way back into my studio…alone…I cannot tell you how many attempts I made only to leave in tears… I would even get up in the middle of the night and try to paint, telling myself tht it would help..but to no avail…I miss him every minute of every day, but I know life has to go on and I am so incredibly confidant that one day when I pass away I will be reunited with him… that keeps me going. I finally just told myself I would use my art to work through my grief, and that got me back in the studio and working again and as I worked it seemed as if he was with me in the process…it was a good thing to do…I still cry a lot and have to stop and start more than usual, but somehow I am finding my way back… I hope you can one day use your emotions about your dog and the love you shared in your art…you will I am confidant of it, when the time is right..sometimes it just takes time…I found I had to do it…art is all I know…but now that he is gone; it is most certainly a different space and time for me…I just hope it gets easier to bear as the days roll on…I wish you all the love and hope I can for your recovery…to lose your best friend is incredibly hard and we are not equipped to handle this kind of loss..I share your grief and pain…Sending you love and hope!

      • thank you Cathy 🙂 I too miss my boy Spike everyday… I am working on a couple of pieces with him as the subject. I want to “do him justice” so I go back and forth between other projects. After 9 months we added two little dachshund puppies to our family 🙂 my husband “didn’t want to go through the loss of a loved pet again”, but I wanted remember the special addition Spike was to our family. How would I have made it through some very tough times without him. So… not that they will ever replace Spike, but they do add fun and a wonderful energy to our lives. Spike understands 🙂

      • Renee that is wonderful that you were able to love and have more little doggies..dachshunds are wonderful, my mom has one and she loves that little doggie! They are incredibly sweet. I know what you mean about no replacement, there will never be one for him for sure… I go over and see my Mom pretty often and I love on her pooches while there, it helps…
        Take care

  4. Jeannie says:

    Cathy, I love how you have Rocko’s name on the boat. Really beautiful painting! So very sorry for your loss.

  5. Cathy, my friend,
    The painting is rich in marks that bring an atmospheric sensibility. She is alone and adrift but I feel that the fish express a way through the water, a kind of freedom and discovery. I hope that is the way for you. Rocko will be with you as you find your way through.
    Sending love,

  6. S. Charto says:

    I am sorry you are suffering the pain of loss but you wouldn’t be if it hadn’t been such a great relationship. I am sitting here with Mully at my feet. She brings me great joy but she didn’t replace Bogey – my soul dog. I remember him every day, the pain has gone and I find comfort in remembering all the things he did. My wish for you is that you can find the same joy you had while he was alive, in his memories. I hope to one day see your paintings in person.

    • Thank you Suzy! I hope I can find the joy again too…I know time will heal my heart…I can so relate to your soul dog comment…loss is an indescribably heavy pain…but each day brings something new to be thankful for…I knew he would not be here forever, but I never really gave up hope for that…I hope we can one day meet!
      Take care,

  7. marion evamy says:

    Hi Cathy,
    I am a newbie, just discovered your art and I am blown away….hoping that by my 29th year of painting I can come close to the emotion you capture… I wanted to share my sentiment with you, being a fellow dog lover, and having lost many beloved companions…i found this saying years ago, author unknown…
    “every time i lose a dog, they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog that comes into my life, brings me a new piece of their heart, if i live long enough, hopefully all of my heart will have pieces of my dogs, and i will be as loving and generous as they are”
    your beloved Rocko inspires your art…it is obvious to me…I too hope one day to have the privilege of seeing one of your original works of art, or to take a workshop.

    • Dear Marion,
      Thank you so much for you kind words about my art. I feel like a kindred spirit with you, animal lovers are just related by the love itself. I cannot express how much I miss him, he was such a constant integrated part of my life, but we have to muddle through and I am doing just that! I love the quote you sent, I hope to one day attain my doggie heart! Thank you again for reading my blog and for the sweet thoughts on Rocko!
      Take care,

      • marion evamy says:

        Hello Cathy
        thanks for responding – and I am sure you will attain a doggie heart! Do you make annoucements on your blog or website about any workshops you may be giving? I am extremely interested in taking a workshop in 2015 – maybe all the way over the other side of North America with you!
        thanks again

  8. Dear Marion,

    I will indeed post if I teach a workshop, but for now it is not in my plans to teach right now. I appreciate your kind words and would love to meet you! I really appreciate your reading my blog, I try to give tips and advice on that platform to anyone interested! Thank you again and take care!

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