Artist’s Inspiration: Connie DeRuyter

Written manuscript of In Flanders Fields

We asked local artists to create works inspired by John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields for a special juried art show commemorating the centenary of the poem. The submissions we received were incredibly varied, as each artist brought a truly unique perspective to the poem. In this blog series, the artists explain in their own words what motivated their work. See more artist inspiration stories here.

Connie DeRuyter:

I have always felt very strongly about our veterans and what they have done for others and for those of us here at home.

About 6 years ago I had the opportunity to chaperone a 12th grade history trip to France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.  This was a trip to experience the battlefields of the first and second world wars.  We went to Juno Beach and Dieppe. I stood in awe on the beach at Dieppe wondering how any soldier survived the storming of Normandy. We visited Beny Sur Mer and many Canadian cemeteries. During this trip we also made a  stop in Ypres where we went to the Colonel John McCrae memorial.  As we stood there, around the memorial, one of our students recited the poem In Flanders Fields.  There was not a dry eye in the crowd.

Whenever I see a poppy I think of the poem and I think of those  men (and women) who gave their lives for us.  It is a fitting symbol…red for the blood that was shed and so beautiful for the brave hearts that gave up so much.

Whenever I think of these brave souls and the sacrifices they made I still get tears in my eyes.

Artwork of poppies

About the Artist

My mom taught me to sew when I was about 9 years old and I have loved it ever since.  Although I have been sewing for a long time, I only started creating textile landscapes two years ago after taking a class with a Kitchener fibre artist.

The thing I enjoy most about this artform, other than sitting at my sewing machine, is the challenge of finding the right textiles and fibres for my pieces.

This is my first exhibit but I hope there will be many more.

Posted by Dawn Owen on June 17, 2015