Life is the most difficult exam. Many people fail because they try to copy others, not realizing that everyone has a different question paper. (

mixed media portrait

“On graduation day”. Mixed media including XL graphite blocks, acrylics, Neocolor II, acrylic ink, metallic paste on Canson XL – 11 x 15 inch watercolour paper.

I am thinking of all the graduation ceremonies that will be held in June.  At one time, and for many years as a teacher, I was part of those ceremonies.

In the crowd, I saw all the proud faces of the students’ relatives gathered to celebrate this milestone.

I wondered about the path each student would travel in order to find their true calling in life.  So young to make these important decisions.  A few students, really a minority, would travel to Europe for a year.  Obviously, these were the students who were still searching for their true calling.

Life is most definitely the most difficult exam. In the close to 30 years that I have been teaching, I have heard of some of the struggles of my former students…battles with cancer, divorce, and students suddenly dying in the prime of their lives, leaving a young family to carry on as best they can.

In painting this portrait, I remembered many of those familiar faces.

I wonder what happened to so many of them when they were called to write the most difficult exam.


graphite blocks XL used in mixed media portrait

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