Calligraphers, at least most of them that I know, are a pretty laid back bunch. So when I started attending the events of the Fairbank Calligraphy Society, Sue Fraser quickly stood out. She was the one making wisecracks in the serious meetings, sat at the rowdiest table at our yearly YellowPoint gathering, and just generally lightened the mood of any room she entered. She also stood out as a talented watercolourist and calligrapher.
A trip to Tuscany in 2006 resulted in a spectacular watercolour journal of over 30 pages. (Two pages are shown above.)
Sadly, my friendship with Sue was relatively short... we lost her to cancer this summer... but even while ill, she was planning a party. So, last weekend, along with her family, friends and members of both the West Coast Calligraphy Society and Fairbank Society, I attended the Celebration of Life for Susan Logie Fraser.
Sue’s calligraphy on the invitation included these words, “I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one... I’d like to leave an after-glow of smiles when life is done, I’d like to leave an echo whispering soft down the way... ”
What a bittersweet event – there were tears and laughter as we remembered Sue. Her plans for the day included members of the Fairbank Society creating weathergrams (tags on which were written memories of Sue) which we hung on a potted tree and gave to her husband, Chris. There was excellent music, (including an original tribute composed by her son-in-law) wine and food, and lots of Sue’s wonderful art. Sue’s young grandchildren handed out cards featuring her calligraphy, to each guest. I received the one shown below, “Do not stand by my grave and weep...”
As I put the final touches on plans to teach in Ottawa in November – teaching a workshop that Sue first suggested I teach and helped me to organize, I have to pause and think of Sue. And smile. In her after-glow.