Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"He Ain't Heavy!" Acrylic Canvas 30" x 24"

  As the story goes Father Flannigan, of USA's Boys Town, once asked a little boy how he was able  to carry a heavy boy on his shoulders for  the long walk to get to Boys Town.  The little boy looked up at the priest, amazed at why he would even ask such a question, and said, "He ain't heavy father. He's my brother!" 
(There are many versions of this story and its origin but the meaning behind it is significant to me!)

I hope this painting depicts the love my brothers had for one another.

The two boys in this painting represent me and any one of my three older brothers.  Whenever one of them asked who was in the painting with me I would tell them it was him!
The two boys are standing on an East Boston pier staring out over Boston Harbor at the Boston Skyline.  It is a view from our boyhood home.
This painting has special meaning for me because two of my brothers have passed away. I miss them terribly and think of them each and every day! 


  1. A beautiful painting, Michael! Is there anything more special than the bonding of brothers..OR sisters. You can see the closeness of these two boys ..I love the soft misty look of this piece!!
    Great subject!!!

    1. Hilda!
      Thank you so much for stopping by and writing such kind words.
      You are so right about brothers and sisters!
      I am glad you noticed the misty effect. I was happy to get that going with this piece!
      Have a Happy Thanksgiving and give your aunt my best!

  2. Michael,
    So great to get the story on this work. Whenever I visit I have wondered about your blog header painting and why you choose it. Now I know. I always loved the silvery misty light in it.
    I love the idea that by painting the figures facing away they don't have a specific identity and represent you and any one of your brothers, that is the bigger picture of family.

    Thanks for posting the story and how perfect, the day before Thanksgiving!
    Many Thanks for sharing and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    Keep painting...

  3. David!
    Good to hear from you! As always!
    I am glad you liked to hear the story behind this piece.
    I am not sure what made me write that today but I am glad I did!
    Sometimes it is difficult to write about a work that is so personal.
    I am glad you noticed the figures facing away from the viewer. Keeps everyone guessing.
    Thanks for all your support David.
    Have the best Thanksgiving!

  4. oh...I love that the figure is interchangeable! I am glad to know the story behind the painting. I too think of my brother every single day. He was my only sibling and he died at age 50. He was my older brother (by 6 years) and it still seems so odd to me that I am now the older one. I've never painted a painting about him. Maybe I should take a page from your book and do that someday.
    Your paintings (like this one) are often quite spellbinding... I think you have a great gift.

  5. Good morning Celeste!
    Thank you very much for your very kind and sensitive comments.
    I am so very sorry for your loss. I can only imagine how sad you must feel. Losing a brother can be so difficult. Hang in there.
    I would love to see you do a painting of your brother. I am sure it would be magnificent!
    Thank you very much for describing my work as "spellbinding!" You made my day!
    Have the best holiday possible!

  6. I love the story and your words about your brothers make this wonderful painting have even more meaning. I am sorry you have lost your brothers. I am so thankful to still have 3 of my 4 siblings around to share life and memories with. But I do think of my sister who passed away every day. She was my best friend and I miss her.

    1. Thank you Joan. Your comments are always meaningful and very much appreciated.
      Thank you also for your concern.
      I am so very sorry about the loss of your sister! I am sure you miss her greatly! Life can be so very sad and tough at times. I am so happy you still have three siblings to enjoy and share life and great memories! Enjoy ever second and make more great memories!
      I am so very glad I found your wonderful art blog. You keep on painting your fantastic art work for all of us to enjoy!
      Take care and thank you again so very,very much.
      Your art buddy,