The Quail Creek Fine Arts Painting Club would like to recognize and remember our most famous member, Laurence “Lonny” Sisson. After a long battle with cancer, Lonny recently passed away at his home in Albuquerque with his beloved wife Judy at his side.

On the day Lonny left us, Judy Sisson wrote to some of Lonny’s friends and admirers to let them know the time had come. Here is part of what she wrote:

“The pipe is unlit, the brushes are drying, the palette is clean, the last painting is still on the wall. Lonny made his transition to paint with the angels Friday, August 7, 2015. As per his request, there will be no services and his ashes will be scattered across the landscapes that he painted for over 80 years. So when you next see a perfect sunset or a wave washing ashore offering gifts from the sea, please pause to reflect on the man and what he shared with all of us…”

The full obituary can be read at frenchfunerals.com. The details of Lonny’s life and career are remarkable. It is well worth spending the time to reflect on this noted American artist who graciously shared his talents and friendship with us and our club.

Lonny gives the club a watercolor demo. February, 2015.
Lonny gives the club a watercolor demo. February, 2015.

In late April Lonny began to receive hospice care at home and was not expected to survive more than a few weeks. In typical fashion, Lonny dismissed these dire predictions and got back to work painting as much as he was able. He also planted tomatoes in his garden in anticipation of a summertime favorite, BLT sandwiches loaded with fresh tomatoes.

As most of you know, my husband Jim and I visited with Lonny and Judy in May. Some of you may also be aware that Jim Asbell is fighting his own battle with Stage 4 colon cancer. In his last few months of life, Lonny gave Jim and me a powerful example of what it means to live in the present moment, to enjoy each day fully and to accept the cards we are dealt without complaint or self-pity.

It’s a bit hard to read in this photo, but on the wall in Lonny and Judy’s home is a quote from the great American painter, Winslow Homer. It says “What they call talent is nothing but the capacity for doing continuous hard work the right way.” Lonny was a painter dedicated to his craft who worked incredibly hard, even when circumstances were difficult and the work was not going well.

Quote on the wall in the Sisson home.
Quote on the wall in the Sisson home.

Although our friendship with Lonny may have been brief, it was memorable. He had friends all over the world, including the wealthy and powerful, but whether you were a neighbor’s kid or royalty, Lonny did not care. He could talk to anyone, usually with something interesting and amusing to say. Not long before he left this world, the hospice chaplain came to visit. He spent only two hours with Lonny but told Judy as he left that Lonny was the most unforgettable man he would ever know.

Lonny in his studio with Jim Asbell, May 2015. Right after this photo these two cancer survivors gave cancer the middle finger salute and laughed about it like little kids.
Lonny in his studio with Jim Asbell, May 2015. Right after this photo these two cancer survivors gave cancer the middle finger salute and laughed about it like little kids.

The Quail Creek Fine Arts Painting Club offers our condolences to the entire Sisson family.

 

In Memory of Lonny Sisson 1928-2015