Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Kitchen

There is a famous painting by Georges Seurat that hangs in Chicago called Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Many individuals and pets are lounging on the green grass of soft hills bordering a serene lake. Everyone seems contented and at ease, enjoying the outdoors and companionship. Everything is perfect. It could not be otherwise in a painting made up entirely of small dot-like brush strokes. When viewed from the proper distance the eye mixes the dots into areas of color, then into areas of form.
My Sunday afternoon today was made up of areas of color that transformed into shapes born of free flowing youthful minds, small hands, and smiles. I painted with my grandchildren.

Maddox is the older one with a great heart for things done properly. He is a thoughtful lad of five on the cusp of kindergarten. Reaching out with curiosity and exuberance he studies his paper, his paints, and his creativity before putting brush to paper. He is as careful as a five year old can be. He has confidence in his thought process but like the rest of us when doing creative work he noticed that the painting didn't turn out quite like he thought it would. I told him, "I know exactly how you feel". I don't remember having such insight when I was 20 let alone five. I think he will be a fine artist one day. He was a fine artist today.
The little blonde on the opposite side of the easel is a whole different set of standards. She is oblivious to rules, blind to advice, and beyond direction. Her painting was free-form and unbridled. She mixed colors, swirled the brush, and applied drips in thoughtful locations adding just the right touch of the Jackson Pollock influence. With Zoe behind the brush painting has no content and no critics--it is painting at is purest. She allowed the paint to flow from the brush to the paper of its own accord--she was only along for the ride. She and the paint and the paper had a great ride through reds and blues that turned into purple butterflies, to yellows and blues that turned into magical rivers of green. When she found how to make dots she turned into Suerat. And through it all she just smiled. I wish I could paint through Zoe's freedom.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Weimaraner named Greta

A recent painting of a beautiful Weimaraner named (a very German) "Greta".  This breed of dog is very loyal and has a sweet disposition. One could go further and say this particular dog is exceedingly loyal and exceptionally sweet! Greta had a promising litter of three puppies--all of which died shortly after birth. Greta was devastated. To assuage her grief she would arranged her stuffed toys around her, place her chin on her paws, and sigh.
Her owners didn't know if she understood about her puppies or she just knew something wasn't right. It is very hard not to attribute human characteristics to animals. Maybe doing so is what connects so many of us to our pets.
In truth, there are many animals I prefer to many humans.
On a happier note Greta is  now the proud mother of several little warm bundles of Weimaraners born a couple of weeks ago. Everyone is happy and healthy and they promise to grow up to be great hunting dogs like their mom.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Follow Me on Pinterest!

Who doesn't love Pinterest!?!? If you want to see more of what interests me, follow me on Pinterest by following this link:
Some people have asked  about my Pinterest boards so I have decided to make a short mid-week post with my Pinterest link. I hope that when you check out the link you find some fun stuff to repin, make, or laugh about. Let me know what interests (or shall I say Pinterests) you the most.
 Happy Pinning!!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Lost in Plain Sight

A post did not appear last week because I was in an old growth forest in the southeast corner of Missouri--far from a computer. In this area along the Mississippi River, where I have never been, stands Big Oak Tree State Park. These are very large trees, several of which are Champion trees. Last Sunday morning as I stood among these towering beauties the silence almost hurt my ears. There were no car sounds, no boat sounds, but most importantly, no people sounds. There were myriad bird songs and a cacophony of frogs.  They would make their frog sounds, building to a frenzied pitch, and then slide into silence for a much needed respite. Disappointment was to shadow the walk as the champion Bur Oak (we had driven four hours to see) lay silently on her side half buried in the soft, moist earth. She was more than 17 feet in diameter--so large she barely seemed real. Her top was scattered here and there across the forest floor partially there, partially gone. She was probably young when the Declaration of Independence was making its way across the ocean to England. She must have been a real beauty when she grew along the river and only indigenous people sat in the shade of her branches.
Lost in Plain Sight
As we traveled home we saw many hillsides with the trees pushed up into piles--left to rot,  not even used for firewood, soil washing into streams. You can't see the forest for the trees because it's not there. These were huge trees that will take centuries, if ever, to regrow. More pasture does not seem the answer to me and I am terrified my grandchildren will have a poorer quality  of life because of attitudes that currently persist.
The painting I want to share is called Lost in Plain Sight. I feel a connection between this painting and my trip to the forest. In my mind she is like the old oak tree a bit. She more or less blends into the background with only her lovey tail and blue, blue eyes drawing attention. Like many people who can't see the forest for the greed or perhaps need (I don't know) you can't see the whole cat for those mesmerizing blue eyes.
If anyone is out there write a comment about my naming of the cat painting and any thoughts on old oak trees--or about frogs for that matter.