Monday, June 25, 2012
Brand New Pair of Roller Skates
Naw, this photo doesn't have a thing to do with roller skates. This is me at the reception for a show called The Art of Cooking - Featuring the School of Eclectic Art, at Promega Corporation in Fitchburg. The show runs through 7 September, and is worth a look. I took my watercolor of two lemons on a Mexican Talavera bowl, and I have to say that it looks fine in the lobby of this gorgeous biotech building. The reception was fun, exceptionally well attended, with lots of delicious food and drink and live music. I felt just a bit fraudulent in that I avoid cooking at all costs, but since I enjoy painting food items I guess it is all good.
I haven't been doing much new painting lately, focusing my efforts instead on weekly figure drawing sessions at UW Whitewater. The exception was this miniature, a 5x5 inch acrylic painting based on an old photograph of my mother posing in her clip on roller skates. The faces in these wee paintings are about the size of the end of a pencil eraser, so they are not very detailed. For me the interest in in her dress and Mary Jane shoes, and of course the clip on roller skates. She told me once that she fell while skating and broke her wrist. Her grandfather, Dr. Smith, was an orthopedic surgeon, so she received good care. Several people have said to me that they remembered clip on roller skates, and Mary Jane shoes, too. One friend commented that the painting was evocative for her because the scene is so empty. Back then most families had only one car, and the dad drove it to work. So no cars on the street, and none blocking the sidewalk.
Mom had lots of sidewalks on which to skate when she was a girl, but when I was that age we lived on the farm, with nothing but a long gravel driveway and lots of grass. I suppose I could have skated up and down in the barn, but I never did. Instead I would tighten the skates onto my shoes and skate back and forth on the cement back porch - not a very big space. Needless to say, I never was very good at skating. When I think back to those times mostly what I remember is the time when my younger sister was holding the skates by their leather straps, twirling around. She let go and one of the metal skates hit me above my left eye. I have a lovely scar there to this day.