Sunday, July 19, 2009

Old Is New Again

In an attempt to create a more contemporary treatment of my favorite subject, cars, I started by by skewing the composition. This car was not actually climbing a hill, just posed for take off. Recently I've been drawn to mixed media collages - innumerable layers of brilliant colors signifying something or nothing as the case may be. What would I do for the background? Or more importantly, why was I painting a Nash in the first place? Perhaps both questions could be solved together. So I wrote what this car meant to me. I would paint the words into the background. But then would the words dominate the car? Should they wrap around the car or read like a regular page interrupted by the car? So you can see my dilemma.

I decided that each effort could stand on its own merit - the painting and the remarks. So the background became a loose collection of vibrant marks - which I discovered looked a little like tire tracks. And here are the results.

My freckled little brother sat between our mother and father. His car seat was held securely in place by two metal arms that curved over the back of the front seat. My brother was blonde just like our Dad, but Dad's hands were dark with grease and oil from his job as a mechanic. He worked long hours yet always had time to help others with their ailing vehicles. Dad had lots of car stories. My brother was too young to understand the finer points of standard transmission repair or installation of those new directional signals. But what my brother could always do was spot a Nash. Regardless of the vintage or model, he would point his finger and shout, "At's a Nash" and he was always right.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blast from the Past

What? No pictures? This better be good!

Remember, don't be afraid to fail. Something good may come out of it - like a posting.

Many years have passed, so now it can be told. Occasionally I wrote school assignments for my kids. It was a tradition from my own years in school when my mother wrote assignments for me. Once in a while, when my activities loomed larger than my homework, my mother would say, "Dear, don't worry, I'll do it". And then she would wait anxiously for "her" grade.

However my daughter was up against an issue of unfairness. She was driven to high school by her "always late" Dad. Obviously she got into trouble for the constant tardiness. Driven to frustration and trying to make a point, her teacher demanded an essay on the situation. Talk about conflict. So naturally, I said, "Don't worry Honey, I'll do it."

So, from many years ago, here is "her" completed assignment.

"The Lowell's are always late. It's a proud tradition of tardiness passed from generation to generation.

My grandmother was not only always late but could usually be counted on to have a flat tire enroute to her destination. She even had a dog that was late in making it outside and left a disaster in the front hall. My father stepped on a nail before his wedding and was late for the service. As a child I thought all moves began in the middle and breakfasts were supposed to be cold.

Now that I am older, I face a great decision. Whether it is nobler in mind to disregard time in order to fulfill my ancestor's destiny or live my life punctually, thus becoming the black sheep of the family.

The tardy bell has just rung so I'll have to make my decision later."

As luck would have it "I" never received a grade. My daughter's teacher merely said that the paper "cracked him up". Surely that merits a B+ at the very least?