Thoughts of Freedom

A story by Raymond Bellevance from 2021

This is a painting of a deer (face-on) that I painted while at Maine State Prison.

Art is a form of hope and freedom. It reflects my love of nature and the outdoors. When I paint, it takes me back to when life was good, it makes me think of all of the good times that I had hunting in Maine with my grandfather who I looked up to and loved with all my heart.

Some of my favorite memories are of deer hunting with my loving uncle. Deer hunting was, and still is, a big part of my family. My uncle has a hunting camp and going there has always been a big event. I spent many hours painting the hunting camp on a kitchen shirt (which is what the inmates who work in the kitchen wear)— it is a great material if you don’t have access to canvas.

Painting helps me express myself— it is only then that I am able to escape from this place [maine state prison] mentally, even if it is only for a little while. Painting helps me hope that I will make it home for future hunting with my uncle, son, and grandchildren. For me… "Art is Hope and Freedom!"

Painting of deer side view painted at Maine State Prison.

Painting of my uncle's hunting camp.

Painting of an eagle. At Maine State Prison I can only dream of such freedom.

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