Wednesday, August 1, 2012


5x7 inches, acrylic on paper

It has been such a hot summer, I find myself combing through old photos of people sunbathing, swimming, in boats, and fishing.  I certainly haven't been doing these things.  These two girls were high school friends of my mother's, and I decided to try to depict them.  This was supposed to be the under painting, with color added later, but I think I'll leave them as they are for now.  Or maybe I'll try another version in color later.  I suppose there's no reason to rush a decision.  In the original photograph, which is small, in black and white, they sit in front of dark foliage, so that their hair blends into the background.  I decided to eliminate the trees and just emphasize the young women.  Somehow they speak to me of pleasant summer days spent with friends.

by Joyce Sutphen

This was when my daughters were just children
playing on the rocky shore of the lake,

their hair in braids, their bright-colored jackets
tied around their waists. It was afternoon,

the shadows falling away, their faces
glowing with light. Whatever we said then

(and it must have been happy; it must have
been hopeful) is lost as I am now lost

from that life I lived. This was when nothing
that I wanted mattered, though all I wanted

was happiness, pure happiness, simple
as strawberries and cream in a saucer,

as curtains floating from a window sill,
as small pairs of shoes arranged in a row.

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