McMenamins St. Francis Interiors 2017 — photo 36 of 62: “Self Portrait en Masse” by McMenamins artist Jonathan Case is one of many works of art gracing the walls of their Old St. Francis School in downtown Bend, Oregon. May 2017. About this painting Jonathan wrote:
These are images of my beloveds, my supports, and my history. I’ve framed them all in the McMenamins Blue Moon made up here from a collage of some of my other McMenamins paintings. In the lower right, you’ll see a little girl too bored to read a book about sewing. This comes from the first McMenamins painting I ever did, using our little neighbor, Ava, as the model. Now grown up and on the verge of college, Ava’s been a babysitter to our children, Dorothy and Otis. Seen here in a Ruby-red dress, she embodies community, holding us tight through good and bad.Camera used: Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom lens.
On the steamer trunk, which symbolizes “leaving,” there’s a small sticker modeled after Ava’s logo for St. Mary’s Academy in Portland. Around the trunk’s corner there’s another sticker, tattered and well-loved. This is for my brother Quentyn, who liked motorcycles so much that he went to the Harley Davidson School of Mechanics. He passed away unexpectedly on February 27, 2012, at the age of 42. In honor of him I made a little punk-rock jacket for my daughter, Dorothy, born just before Quent left us — January 14, 2012. She wears it here. When I took the reference photo of Dorothy, she was holding a dollar. I have no idea where it came from. Let’s call it more surprising generosity from friends and neighbors.
Continuing left up the moon from little Ava, you’ll see an anchor. In its placement here, it symbolizes my teen years with Mom and Dad in Mexico, where we lived aboard a sailboat. Near Otis’ head, there’s Kermit the Frog — another important community member for the Cases. Beyond that, you’ll see Jack White of The White Stripes, joining in the fancy punk jacket party with Dorothy.
The last two elements, linked together with the Blue Moon, are my wife, Sarah, and our son, Otis, who also loved motorcycles, the moon, and kisses. We said goodbye to him this year, on January 21, 2016. He was 20 months. He was an adventurer and an unusual lover of people. I carry him close, hoping I can live up to the gracious man he surely would have been.
Through these joys and losses, Sarah has been my close companion and dearest love. She will be always. Thank you for taking a moment to observe my loves!
For further details about the story behind this photo, see the related article My Pilgrimage to McMenamins St. Francis.