Newsletter July 19, 2021

Dear friends, Carpe Diem! I got a sharp reminder of that wisdom when I suddenly began to lose eyesight in my left eye about three weeks ago. Urgent surgery was needed to preserve vision: repair of two retinal tears and reattachment of the retina. My vision was saved and I am recovering nicely with a large gas bubble training my retina to remain in place. I’ve even been able to start painting again, although my depth perception is only slowly returning. I have to concentrate fiercely on where the paint-filled brush is relative to where I want it to be.

Postponed August exhibition
Between persistent COVID border closure and precipitous eye excitement, I postponed my August 2021 Island Painting IV exhibition at Gallery 110 (Seattle). One work from the planned show will be hanging at Gallery 110 in August. The work I chose for the Preview Magazine advertisement will join many excellent works by my 110 colleagues in our portion of the Seattle Art Fair Deconstructed show. I plan to be at Gallery 110 the last weekend of August: Thursday – Saturday August 26, 27 & 28th, noon-5 pm. Please return to Pioneer Square and all its great galleries, and be sure to visit me at Gallery 110. I will be prepared, stocked with ice cream, cold sodas, and even colder ice wine with which, together, we can celebrate return of partial normalcy to our lives. It will be hot!

View from the Point II (Dawn), Tofino

View from the Point II (Dawn), Tofino

Ships, Mountains & the Sea V
September 23 – October 6, 2021
Visual Space Gallery, Dunbar Street, Vancouver, BC

For September’s exhibition I will be returning to the overarching theme of four exhibitions from 20 years ago: landscapes of the Burrard Inlet (Vancouver Harbor), Georgia Strait (Quadra Island), and Vancouver Island (Tofino, Ucluelet and Nitinaht Lake). Many works from the show are already posted at The final set of paintings will be added to my website in September before the show opens.

Nitinaht Lake

Nitinaht Lake (view north, early afternoon)

Ships & Mountains/Spanish Banks II

Ships & Mountains/Spanish Banks II, oil on hardboard, 1998

Finding treasures
Last week an email from a lovely lady in Bath, England, informed me that she had just purchased a painting from an auction. It was a work from my 1998 exhibition, Ships Mountains & the Sea I, titled “Ships & Mountains/Spanish Banks II“.

Stormy Morning, Spanish Banks, acrylic on hardboard, 1999

A similar email was sent to me several years ago by an early morning dog-walker in Texas who rescued this painting titled Stormy Morning, Spanish Banks being discarded at the curb. It sold 22 years ago from the 1999 show Ships Mountains & the Sea II to a “Dallas lady”. The owner of my second commercial gallery kept very incomplete records.

Over 500 of my works – pen & ink drawings, watercolors and acrylic paintings – are in peoples’ homes. Stay alert! People pass on, downsize, disentangle their affairs, and “declutter”. Please let me know if you have rescued one of my works!

In Memoriam
Cornelia Oberlander, the well-known Vancouver landscape architect, died last month at the age of 99. I only just learned that it was her idea to arrange lines of logs on Vancouver city beaches each spring for the summer season.

Her brilliant design inspired many of my early paintings of the Burrard Inlet, including both found works.

See you soon! We have almost made it. Please remain safe. Please come see me any day during the Visual Space exhibition in September/October – and/or drop by Gallery 110 in late August.

With great affection and respect, David

30 thoughts on “Newsletter July 19, 2021

  1. john siscoe

    Sorry about your eye troubles! Hope you get completely well soon. I’ve moved the store from Pioneer Square to the U District. Too long to explain. Had a heart attack last fall to go with my stroke of three years ago. Almost bought the farm but survived. Also too long to explain. Fine for now; still in the circus. Stay in touch.

    1. David Haughton

      Dear John, Thank you for the recovery best-wishes. All goes well.
      A stroke! a heart attack! I am making a note not to snivel and whine in your presence.
      I thought you would wind up before moving. I am impressed with your resolve and stamina.

      with great affection and respect,


  2. lesley

    Oh David,

    What a terrifying event with your eye! I am so glad you were here and able to receive immediate medical attention. Bad luck followed by good luck. We are looking forward to seeing more work in the future when we can all get together again. Continue with your great recovery.

    See you soon.

    All the best,

    1. David Haughton

      Dear Lesley, Thank you for your kind wishes for my recovery. All goes well. My central vision was never compromised, and so I was much less frightened than I would have been; perhaps should have been.

      I look forward to showing you my new work in late September/early October, and to having time to visit with you and Tom at leisure later this Fall. with great affection and respect, David

  3. Bruce Miller

    HI David,

    I’m glad that your condition was treatable and that you are progressing in health!
    Your new painting look great. Keep on going!

    with my best regards,


    1. David Haughton

      Dear Bruce, Thank you for your kind words about my new paintings and for your best wishes to my eyes. All goes well!

      I found the recent court cases – in Oklahoma and the in Northern BC very interesting and morally correct. Now if the powerful interests fighting against negotiations or concessions can be squelched….

      with great affection and respect, David

  4. Jennifer Barr

    These are very beautiful David. I hope to be able to see them up close. I am so glad you are restored to full sight; how awful that could have been for you otherwise.
    Stay well and say hi to Lynn for me!

    1. David Haughton

      Dear Jennifer, Thank you for your kind words about my paintings, and for your best-wishes. All goes well! See you in September; feel free to drag friends along. With affection and respect, David

  5. Ru

    David, very sorry to hear about your eyesight. Hope you’re back to “normal” soon! Best wishes, Ru.

    1. David Haughton

      Dear Rusung, Thank you for the kind note wishing me well. All seems to be progressing smoothly. How are you doing? How many more years will you be working in Qater? Have you left politics behind? with affection and respect, David

  6. Marion Webber

    What a great newsletter! Glad you are feeling a little better. Very scary to have sight problems, but its great that you are painting again.
    Cheers, Marion

    1. David Haughton

      Dear Marion,

      Thank you for your kind best-wishes. All goes well so far. See you in September?? Will you be showing at the VSG in the next 18 months?

      with affection and respect,


  7. Alison Bell and Dean Gingrich

    Hello, David,

    I am horrified to read of your recent retinal detatchment and so glad to hear that you are on the mend. Your statement was intriguing, and perhaps will add a new depth to your work: ” I have to concentrate fiercely on where the paint-filled brush is relative to where I want it to be.” Oliver Sacks would be intrigued!

    We wish you the best and will take a look at your website for your most recent work. Enjoy the rest of the summer,

    Alison and Dean

    1. David Haughton

      Dear Alison & Dean. Thank you for your well-wishes. My vision appears to be intact, and the gas bubble is gradually dissipating. I don’t think Oliver would write about my problem of depth perception – it would be expected. I was most surprised and amused at MY surprise, and the bit-lip focus I needed to start painting again and not mess up. Let me know if there is a work that strikes your fancy. I’ve very proud of many of the new works:
      I hope you can come in September and see them on the walls of the Visual Space gallery! And I get to see you and hear of your adventures!

      with affection and respect,



  8. David Papau

    Sorry to hear about your detached retina problems. We all hope you overcome this detour and you are back painting and exhibiting very soon.

    Best regards,
    David & Catherine

    1. David Haughton

      Dear David and Catherine, Thank you for your well-wishes. My eye is gradually healing, the gas bubble dissipating. My vision is intact. I look forward to seeing you in the fall. Be safe!
      How are your superb grandchildren???? with affection and respect, David

  9. Ariane and JP

    Hello David,

    What a moving and eventful letter you sent us! I was frightened to read about your eye incident, and happy that you are recovering nicely. It must be a bitter feeling to learn that some of your “old” works need up on curbs, but sweet to hear from their rescuers. They are certainly worth admiring and cherishing! Also interesting to learn about Cornelia Oberlander (what an extraordinary person!) and that the beach logs were her initiative. We will likely not be able to go to Seattle, but wish you all the best with full eyesight and depth perception recovery and hope to see you in the fall. In the meanwhile, we continue to enjoy your paintings in our home, and are diligent to protect the latest one from the sun in the afternoons!

    We are planning a trip to Europe in Sept-October (Belgian seaside, Parisian region, Venice, and Sicily) to combine visit to our parents and vacation. Crossing fingers that they’ll be as proactive with vaccines over there as we are here by then!

    Take care, and warm hugs to you and Lynne.
    Ariane and Jean-Pierre

    1. David Haughton

      Dear Ariane & Jean-Pierre,
      Thank you for your note. It was interesting to get your reaction to each of the various strands of the newsletter. My eyes continue to improve. My macula was never affected, and so the whole process was less frightening than it might have been had it progressed further.
      Yes. I fear for the Dallas lady. I suspect she moved on – perhaps to a place where you are not allowed to put pictures on the walls. It is the grim reality of life, not just for an artist: you have no control over what happens to your best work, your most accomplished creations. You let them go, they drift off, sometimes you get to see them again, or someone mentions that they saw them… but you cannot know. I am happy that some of the work that changed hands is in a new home where it is treasured. Travel safely! Late Fall we may be able to get together and hear of your voyages. with great affection and respect

  10. Sylvia L'Écuyer

    Nice to hear from you DAvid!
    I will be in Montreal at the end of August but I am very much looking forward to see you and Lyne !

    1. David Haughton

      Dear Sylvia, We look forward to seeing you on your return from Montreal. September??? early October?? With great affection and respect, David

  11. Nick Levy

    Hi David
    I am so sorry to hear about your retinal detachment and so pleased to hear that things are improving.
    I don’t seem to have your personal e mail. I mailed you a long letter a while back and not sure if you received it.
    Send me an email and we can get in touch. Would love to see you again

    1. David Haughton

      Dear Nick,

      I did get your letter, but had just finished writing almost everyone, and I guess I never responded. Mea Culpa. email
      Please come visit, perhaps this Fall? Winter is fantastic time to go storm-watching and surfing at Tofino.
      Or next spring/summer/fall/winter? It would be great to see you again! with great affection and respect, David

  12. Angela McWhirter

    What treasure finding “Stormy Morning, Spanish Banks”. Trust the “Dallas Lady” did not also get discarded on a curb.
    Blessings on the “lovely lady from Bath”. She has good taste.

    1. David Haughton

      Dear Angela,

      I never met the “Dallas lady”. I somehow fear that my artworks’ seismic shift was due to her personal catastrophe – either sudden or progressive.
      The new owner seemed to like them very much. Indeed, I will likely re-explore the image of the Stormy Morning work soon. with affection and respect, David

  13. Heather M. Louie

    Hi David,

    I am so glad to hear your eye surgery was successful in restoring the vision of your left eye. Scares like that remind one of how very beautiful the world and the play of light are. Stay well. Paint on!

    1. David Haughton

      Dear Heather,

      Thank you for the kind note. Yes, I have always treasured sight above all the senses, and this has redoubled my valuation. I hope I lose all 5 senses simultaneously (ideally painlessly and suddenly and leaving no mess) with affection and respect, David

    1. David Haughton

      Dear Deborah,

      Thank you for the kind note. My vision was spared, the vitrectomy & laser spot-welding seems to have worked, and with the gas bubble slowly receding my vision looks pretty good. I look forward to seeing you at the end of August. How is Per doing? How are you doing? switch to email?
      with affection and respect, David

  14. Christopher Lyons

    So sorry to learn of your retinal detachment David; I hope the repair was a success and that vision and depth perception return completely.
    Warm regards

    1. David Haughton

      Dear Chris,

      Thank you for the kind note. Eduardo Navajas took good care of me. My vision was spared, the vitrectomy & laser spot-welding seems to have worked, and with the gas bubble slowly receding my vision looks pretty good. Having the left eye back should do wonders for depth reception. with affection and respect, David

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