As a young man Keith Williams left Ontario to take up life in Alberta, as close to the Rockies as he could get. When he died his ashes were scattered in those mountains.
I wanted to do a painting not about what his life was, but what his death meant. A portrait of the loss of presence.
This photograph of him sitting beside a river and framed by the Rockies was the centrepiece image at his funeral. Several years later I was looking at it and I thought there it is... take the colour away like it's an old black and white photograph of a bygone era. At first I was going to blur part of the image, make the protrait a little out of focus and then I thought "No, better to have him start blending with the shadows."
I remember the question being asked at the memorial service..."Where did he go?"