Monday, March 30, 2015

Faking Spring


When we were kids, my father planted a row of roses along the driveway, and a fairly good-sized patch of daffodils out in the backyard. The roses were hellish to maintain - an obstacle course of thorny branches to get to a non stop onslaught by Japanese beetles. The daffodils were easier, but dad had planted double bloomers. We had so many daffodils in bloom the first year, my father decided to send us kids door-to-door with a wagon full - a buck or two got you a dozen. It took us a while, but we got the job done. Believe it or not, people actually refused us. How could anyone refuse a couple of kids trying to sell a dozen daffodils for a buck or two?

I could care less about roses these days unless someone else is growing them, in which case I can get totally stupified by their addicting perfume. Daffodils don't excite me much, but are a nice splash of color in the spring when there is non to be seen out there anywhere.

I've also discovered that a dozen daffodils from the local greenhouse in March is a good cheap way to fake it 'til you make it - spring that is.

Faking Spring • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $200

Monday, March 23, 2015

March


March - the month I start looking around for something to pound because it's time for spring, it's nowhere in site and I'm at my wits end. Isn't it wonderful then, that we have an alternative in the maple tree.

No one really knows who discovered maple syrup, but several legends have been handed down over the centuries. This legend comes from the Algonquian Indians.


Woksis, the Indian Chief, was going hunting one day early in March, the "Season of the Melting Snow." He yanked his tomahawk from a maple tree, in to which he had hurled it the night before, and went off for the day. The weather turned warm, and the gash in the tree dripped sap into a trough that was close to the trunk.

Toward evening Woksis's wife (who has no name here but I will refer to as "She who should have been chief because she was so clever") needed water in which to boil dinner. She saw the trough full of sap and thought that might save her a trip to get water. She tasted the sap and found it good.

She used the sap to cook venison for suppah later that night. The water eventually boiled down to syrup, which sweetened the meat. Woksis found the gravy delicious and spread the news how the Great Spirit had guided his wife in making a delicious new food he called Sinzibuckwud (meaning, "drawn from the wood" in the Algonquian tongue).

Soon all the women were  "sugar-making" ("seensibaukwut"). From that point in time on, braves performed the "Sugar Dance,"  and maple sugar was produced and celebrated each spring in March  after the long, cold winter.

My guess is The Great Spirit had redirected those people from pounding on one another after that long, cold winter, to pounding maple trees. It saved a few lives.


March • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $200

Monday, March 16, 2015

Royal Robin


Robins have always been harbingers of spring for me - I was taught this somewhere along the line, and had added my own theory which was, the more I saw, the faster spring would arrive. It's what has kept me sane during the final obstacle called March all of these years.

Spring was certainly going to be early this year for sure - I saw so many. Unfortunately, and based on info gleaned from the internet plus what I witnessed this winter, robins aren't harbingers of spring because duh, they hang around year round.

Up here on the hill, and I have never seen this before, there has been a street gang of 25 or so robins flitting around the neighborhood all winter. They were startling to see with their bright orange breasts in an otherwise bland and bleached winter landscape a city can be. They reminded me of the older and enlarged Henry VIII, a little arrogant the way they puffed up their chests (to stay warm in this case, I later learned) over their twig-like legs.

While robins no longer represent harbingers of spring for me, they will become instead, a reminder of spring's inevitable, determined and colorful arrival in the face of all that seems otherwise.

Royal Robin • 8" X 8" framed to 12" X 12" • $200

Monday, March 9, 2015

White Night


In the fifth century BC, Hippocrates , the father of medicine wrote, “one who is seized with terror, fright and madness during the night is being visited by the goddess of the moon," to which I would add ...in all of her blinging, glittering glory.

White Night • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $200


Monday, March 2, 2015

City Moon

When my cat Ms Kitty and I fled to Portland, we landed in a third floor studio on William Street. It was simple and affordable, and felt like Manhattan (though I had never lived there). I was both terrified and thrilled. I had never lived in a city before.

My drafting table was set up in one corner, and my computer in another. I painted every day on that drafting table because there was time to - I was a freelance graphic designer with a blank work slate. An alcove served as my bedroom, my bed was next to a window. At night Ms Kitty and I would lie there and look out that window over the rooftops at more rooftops. It was magical, especially if there was a full moon overhead. It also became a hunk of time away from all of those feelings that get dragged along with change.

I live in a second floor apartment now, and still love sitting in my reading chair by the window looking out over rooftops. This painting is nowhere in particular. It's just a depiction of the peace I can still conjure up looking out of my first city window.

City Moon • 8" X 8" framed to 12" X 12" • $200