The Piper on Westminster Bridge


This is the finished painting from my August 31st post entitled “Painting in Progress.” I had been in the hospital for a very long time, nineteen days of which were in the intensive care unit on life support. I have been home now for almost four months. It has been very hard for me to do a painting again. My attention span and motor skills have suffered from my illness. After the horrible experience of almost losing my life, I wanted to paint something that would bring me comfort.

My maternal line is basically Scottish. Mom used to bounce me on her knee and sing a Scottish folk song. Her paternal grandmother was from England. Mom learned the love and tenderness of her grandma. Those British traits were used to raise me. I remembered an experience I had. I was walking over the Westminster Bridge in London when I heard bagpipes. Hearing bagpipes makes me cry. I hurried to where the sound was coming from. A Scotsman was standing there in his kilt playing beautiful melodies. I took video of it. This memory brought all the warmth of my mother’s tender care to me. I had to paint it.

The painting shows the buildings backlit. The people have a highlight on the top of their heads to show they are backlit, too. I have used atmospheric perspective to show depth. To do this, the persons closest are painted larger than the ones further back. The features of their faces are done very simply, because you cannot see the detail in real life when they are in a similar position. I have also tried to portray the gesture of the woman in the center while she walks.

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Comments on The Piper on Westminster Bridge Leave a Comment

October 13, 2010

jared @ 3:32 pm #

I enjoy the light!

Jim Bless @ 3:43 pm #

wonderful. I love the bag pipes

Jennifer @ 3:47 pm #

I am thrilled to see you painting again! It looks wonderful, and I love seeing you in the painting. I love bagpipes so much, too. Must be it’s in my blood! I know how painful it is for you to paint, so it is good to see you at it again! Quite an accomplishment!

Ashley @ 4:34 pm #

I love it Grandpa! That brings back good memories….:)!!!

Michelle Slack @ 4:45 pm #

Welcome back to painting! I love it! & I love you!

Elaine S. Vail @ 5:09 pm #


Margaret @ 5:14 pm #

This has got to be perhaps the most exciting painting you’ve ever done, considering what you’ve been through and how hard you’ve had to work. I’m absolutely thrilled with the painting!! It’s wonderful

Shelly Ragsdale @ 5:22 pm #


Viewing your work reminds me of what a great teacher you are. I’m so glad and thankful that you not only share your knowledge but that you are back at the easel. I too enjoy when you place yourself in you paintings and love that you are an entire head taller than everyone else!!

Marty @ 6:03 pm #

It is beautiful! You would never know that this was the first since your major ordeal.

Winnie Bowling @ 6:26 pm #

Tom, the painting is very good– the colors, the postures of your subjects, the shadows,
the wonderful piper– it conveys a good deal of emotion,, soo we have to say it is a
wonderful painting.
You haven’t lost it!
In addition, I must say we in Aurora, Indiana are looking forward to the workshop you will
be doing here. There are still some spots left, so if any of your devoted students or fans
would like to join us, please contact Mrs. Tom Slack, as she will give you info about
(dates are Nov.18,19,20

Christine Roach @ 6:29 pm #

Daddy, I’m very proud of you and I absolutely love this painting.

mary lengel @ 6:59 pm #

Your story made my heart ache for you. One thing.. You didn’t lose your painting ability. Your Bagpipe painting is great. Congratulations on your grand success .

I have fond memories of seeing a bagpiper at the Seattle World’s Fair in 1965 when I was a little girl. I also saw Elvis at that World’s Fair, and I have been in love with him ever since. :)

Beautiful work, Tom. Your soul speaks to us through your work. Wishing you a consistent recovery. Much love to you, Norene and your family. Many people care so much for you and you have made such a difference in our lives by sharing your talent and passion for excellence.

Joanna @ 7:26 pm #

It’s great!

Jean Collad @ 7:26 pm #

Dear Tom, we are so thrilled to hear that you are back painting again. We really like your new painting. Aunt Jean/Uncle Grant

Angie @ 8:09 pm #

Great picture! You again captured the beauty of life and light.

Sarah @ 8:37 pm #

So happy to see this post. It really means a lot. I love the light and how you painted something that is meaningful to you.

LaDawn @ 9:12 pm #

I love this painting Tom. It’s fun to see you in it. I love the colors and the feeling I get when I look at it. I loved walking around London. Great job.

Donna Benjamin @ 9:21 pm #

Tom this is really good! I love that you are in it. The lady in the center looks like she might be in a hurry!!!! A good friend of ours is in the “Gordon Pipers” and I love bagpipe music. You did great!!! Glad you are back to doing something that you love so much!!!!

Susie @ 9:49 pm #

A perfect painting! No one would ever know how challenging it was for you. Seeing you in the painting with the bagpiper makes it all the more special. Welcome back!

Amy @ 11:20 pm #

Dear Dad,

This is beautiful. For me it ranks as high as the painting you did for us after Ford died. Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us!


Dave @ 11:27 pm #

Tom, it’s great to know that you are painting again and to see you returning at such a high level. It’s a wonderful painting. Congratulations

October 14, 2010

Chuck @ 12:06 am #

Tom, I think this is one of your best paintings. It is really beautiful.

Amy Hutchings @ 9:45 am #

Tom, this is just gorgeous. Dorothy just arrived for Richard;s 65th!!!! this Saturday and I read the entire post to both of them. Your words so resonate. We all sighed thinking about what a wonderful mother you have — she has been a blessing to all who know her.

So thrilled you are using your God given gifts again. This painting is so uplifting.

Thank you for sharing. xox Amy

October 17, 2010

Truckingranny @ 8:40 pm #

The painting is beautiful. I’m so tickled to see you painting again. Keep up the healing, great things will come. Love, Mary

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