Watercolour & Words | Jean Burman 2018
I know I’m not alone in saying I lost a dear friend last week. Although we never met we knew each other well. A paradox of our modern times. You see. We lived on opposite sides of the planet. Yet we shared a Scottish heritage (and a name as it turned out) Melville was her middle name. It was once my last. It glued us together somehow.
I met Elinor Melville McCartney in 2001 on an artists platform called The ArtCafe Network. It was the early days of social media and looking back we were all incredibly unsophisticated. We knew (virtually) nothing of algorithms hashtags or SEO’s. We just had fun. We joked and talked. We challenged each other and ourselves with art related topics. Nothing was out of the question. Everything was discussed at length. Elinor painted in oils. I painted in watercolour. Everyone painted in something. We all loved art.
She told us she’d learned Esperanto after the war. I had never heard of it. I learned something new. She had worked as an illustrator too. It was a man’s world back then!
Elinor was feisty and fabulous. She spoke in a thick Glaswegian accent. She wrote in one too! I could always count on Elinor to confuse me ... in the funniest kindest way. But she also encouraged me... and challenged me. To get on with it. To do stuff she could no longer do. To go places she hadn’t yet been. To do it “for us”. For her. But not least of all “for me”
Elinor was like your mum, your great aunt and your best friend all rolled into one barely decipherable package. Rumour has it she was also Paul McCartney’s aunt at one time. He should have been so lucky! Smart. Witty. Strong. Tough. Kind. Elinor suffered no fools and rarely took prisoners.
She was one of the brightest sparks on the planet!
I know she was sad towards the end. I didn’t know what to say or do. She missed her Carson badly. But she and the butler are together again now and she can rest safe in his arms once more. I don’t know how someone you’ve never met can be so completely opaque in your life but there you have it. She was there. Large as life. As she will always be. Here in our hearts forever.
If you knew Elinor (and even if you didn’t) leave a note. Make it for Elinor. She was always the first to comment here on the blog.
She sure did leave a ripple in my heart ...