A portrait of the artist and musician Rory McEwen, by his niece, the writer Christian McEwen. Rory was best known for his watercolors of leaves and flowers on vellum. He died (too young) in 1982. But his work remains: in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, in museums and private collections all over the world.
Christian says of her uncle Rory: “It was from looking at Rory’s pictures that I first began to see. He was my mentor for a crucial nine years, from my late teens until well into my twenties. He was an artist, first and foremost, whereas I knew from early on that I wanted to write. But across all the differences of genre and gender, the endeavour was the same. Even now, he is someone from whom I’m still learning, someone whose work still startles and inspires me, whose interests (in nature, poetry, music, art and Buddhism) consistently reinvigorate my own.”
Christian McEwen is a writer, educator, workshop facilitator, and cultural activist. Since leaving New York City twenty years ago, she has edited two anthologies and produced a video documentary, Tomboys!, and a play, Legal Tender: Women and the Secret Life of Money. Her book, World Enough and Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down (Bauhan 2011), is now in its sixth printing and is also available in an audio format. Her most recent collection is Sparks from the Anvil: the Smith College Poetry Interviews, (Bauhan 2015). Christian grew up in the borders of Scotland and now lives in western Massachusetts.