Friday, July 18, 2014

No "wifi" Necessary

Summer continues to offer up many of us a much looked forward to hiatus from the drudgery of daily life in a work-a-day-world. No where is that more obvious to me than here in our village... where the daily spectacle of the loading of "summer people" to awaiting boats bound  for beloved  island haunts repeats itself daily over the entire summer months. Kids bearing jammed back packs, duffel bags, travel cases trailing on wheels... with a personal pillow under the other arm shuttle personal gear down to the docks. Often... follows groceries, golfing gear, tennis rackets, or occasional fishing equipment. Within brief minutes... vehicles are parked... locked and simply abandoned on land as as these folks set sail for pirate adventures and dreams... which have been passed from generation to generation.

These sights harken up sweet memories from within  me of decades of that same act in my own life- our family's annual return to Narrow's Lane Road and "Sherman's Shangrai-la". Summer meant "Freedom"- the relaxing of routines... living in bathing suits... running shoeless until September... rising each morning at 5:00 am (rain or shine) to scull myself about in our wooden punt to fish alone... or just to explore the many islands. After lunch (ashore) and a few set chores... we headed with friends to the "Deep Hole"... the gathering place for our cottage colony to swim... dive and net minnows. By mid summer... we were all "brown as berries" and completely oblivious to school or town things. Evenings usually found our cottage kids around the hardwood harvest table with birch log legs in our living room. One half of the table was busy playing Monopoly... the other facing off at multiple ends of Crokinole. The room buzzed with gleeful interaction and laughter... lit by a single brace of bulbs in an overhead light fixture. This was our summer "Shangrai-La"!

It distresses me to no end to watch the seemingly endless number of individuals... locked on to a hand held device of choice... walking or sittting alone... oblivious to the beauty of the place they have come to visit. Some have come from faraway places that I will never see. Most likely... they shall never return. I wonder... what memories will they carry of this grand place?Wireless?.. yes in the modern sense of its technological meaning... but unplugged in every other "sense" of meaning in my understanding. It implies to me a sense of technological addiction that is both unhealthy... and rude behaviour when it is imposed in social situations that demand a group awareness.

Enough of my reminiscing and moralizing. Fast forward to the Present... and to the pleasant event that precipitated my earlier rambling reminiscences... and wifi rant. Enter Hana... a beautiful... sweet... eleven year old sprite... who must have been here before. She's an "old soul"... a peer for this aging child. When in her company... the barrier of age and experience does not exist. We operate on the same plane... and in our own language and terminology... "We are wireless!

Hana and I first met for the first time last summer in the same place... our Islandsview garden. Her grandmother, a friend of mine had asked me to give her a surprise art lesson during her visit with her near Rockport. They arrived... "dressed-to-the-nines"... with Hana expecting to visit my gallery on the way to a "girly-girl-only" lunch. Dressed in a lovely dress... she intrepidly jumped into my planned collage n' paint exercise. It was a grand day of sharing... for us both. Her completed painting/collage clearly displayed her artistic skills... natural sense of colour and design. It was... in my mind... an artwork worthy of  adult merit and expectation.

Hana's Garden Art Party... Summer 2013

 "No fear" approach... start to finish. Only odd moments of personal reflection... punctuated with an odd question. "Wired"... into that space reserved only for creation... contemplation and meditation.

 Such natural beauty... and honesty - in both the Art... and the Artist!

Hana's Second Annual Rockport Garden Party

Last Friday afternoon, Hana arrived with her grandfather to spend the day making art... and conversation with me here at Islesview! Since the garden was resplendent with colour and subject matter, I had planned an acrylic on square canvas project. Now aware of Hana's strengths and flexibility of thinking it took mere minutes and a hug to jump back into last year's comfort zone for us both.

As we sat together with a faceful of lilies and other blooms to choose from... we both organized and "mapped" out a charcoal compositional pathway for our intended painting. I fixed it with fixative spray and then jumped into palettes of colour which had been laid out on two white recycled styro meat trays. The painting moved surely and rapidly... blended with catching up conversation and news from both easel mates.I can truly state that we were indeed both... wireless... and seamless... despite a vast age difference during the two hours that we were painting together. It merely proves... that Art knows no barriers such as age... culture or geography. All arts  provide universal bridges which enjoin people in peace and harmony. 

Hana and I... "wireless" friends connected through Art!

All in two hours of fun!

I painted the edges black all around and put a wire hanger on the back of each. I thought it fitting... that both should hang together in Hana's room back home. Besides... it is her birthday! Happy Birthday Hana!

See you next summer! Keep smilin'... and doing your artsy things - piano... guitar and painting!
Hugs!... and be safe!

Your painting Pal,

Stay tuned...

Finally... back to plein airing. On location at Rock Island Lighthouse, Clayton, NY


  1. She is a beauty and I remember her from last year. Her artwork is truly phenomenal and I'm so glad she has you for a mentor, Bruce! Happy birthday, Hana!

  2. Thanks Sherry!... Hana is a "special" friend... one of those "summer folk"... whose annual return and presence we yearn for!

    It was a great birthday garden party... one which we will both cherish for a very long time! The event left me inspired... re-energized... and stoked to be "out there" with my kit!

    Thanks for dropping by and for sharing your thoughts and best wishes for Hana.

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  3. Hi Bruce, some nice work there from a very talented young lady. I'm glad to see that the summer is turning out to be happy and full of fun for you. Lets hope that it continues for quite a few weeks yet.

    All the best,

  4. Good evening Keith!... Thanks fpor dropping by!

    You are surly right in saying on all counts..." a very talented young lady"!

    The summer is moving too quickly, I'm afraid... but it has been chocked full of blessings so far. Life is what you make of it Keith. I hope that my blog and my attitude both support that precept in my thinking.

    I am deeply blessed in my life... and am deeply grateful for those good things Deb and I enjoy together. I wish you and your family similar Happiness...Peace and Blessings in your lives!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,