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