September is Alzheimer's MonthComfort Life would like to acknowledge Alzheimer's month by celebrating the lives of those battling the illness. Murray Yorke became a professional painter later in life and is living proof that you can take on new challenges, no matter your age. At the age of 81 he now suffers from Alzheimer's and no longer paints, but his technique and inspiration lives on through his student's work.
Canadian painter Murray Yorke started his career as a marine artist late in life. Born in 1931, it wasn't until 1974, at the age of 43 that he had his first showing of marine paintings. Although he sketched and painted as a child, it wasn't until a local painter encouraged him to take the craft on full time that he left his business career and became a professional painter and art teacher.
Although he had no formal training, Murray Yorke became a renowned marine painter whose subjects typically include seascapes, fishermen and boats — images based on his experience as a fishermen in his youth, sketches he made as a boy and childhood memories of summers spent on the fishing wharfs of his hometown of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia.
Although Murray now battles Alzheimer's and as a result no longer paints, his work lives on through the talent, inspiration and technique of his many students including Richard T. Reminger and Kerry Eriksen. His childhood memories have been captured through his paintings, which portray a way of fishing that has gradually disappeared from Nova Scotia; replaced with commercial trawlers and the large commercial fishing industry. Although the method of fishing depicted in his paintings is now all but lost, Murray Yorke and other Canadian marine painters have captured an important element of Canadian marine history in their subject matter.
September is Alzheimer's Month - a great time to celebrate the contribution of Canadians like Murray Yorke who currently battle this debilitating illness. Let's not forget the impact that these Canadians have made to our society. When asked why he preferred to paint the sea Murray replied "because it offers a lot of challenge. It has so many different faces. It's constantly changing". Ironically there are many parallels between his subject matter and the illness that now affects so many Canadians and their families.
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