Henry followed the big yellow cat down the block, wishing to pick her up and hear her purr. He continued across the street to the next block. She showed up before on the door step of his old brownstone buildings.
His mother told him not to wander off, but the cat seemed to want him to follow. Henry’s mother’s words faded away. He would only go a block or two.
The cat paused in front of a long winding stair case, then scampered up and through a large open door at the top. Henry thought perhaps he could meet the cat’s owner, so he slowly climbed to the top. As he peered into the dark opening, Henry heard an old man’s voice, “If you are a dreamer, come in my child.” He froze, uncertain whether to go in or run back down the steps.
Painting: Dwight L. Roth
Today at d’Verse, Lillian is challenging us with a prosery prompt. Prosery is a flash fiction piece, of exactly 144 words, that includes a line from a poem given by the host. The line is from Shel Silverstein’s poem, Invitation, as published in his wonderful book, Where the Sidewalk Ends. The line is, “If you are a dreamer, come in“.
A few weeks ago a 22 x 28 print on canvas, of the Oyster Gatherers of Cancale, came in to the Habitat Restore where I volunteer. It was in very bad shape with stains and yellow with cigarette smoke. We could not clean it, so I decided to get it and attempt to do a restoration on it to bring it back to life. I painted over the colors with acrylic paints, trying to keep the feel of the original. This is what I completed today. The original is below.
Smoke stains covered with fresh paint
Life on French seashore
“OYSTER GATHERERS OF CANCALE byJohn Singer Sargent”
“John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was an American expatriate artist, considered the “leading portrait painter of his generation” for his evocations of Edwardian-era luxury. He was born in Florence to American parents, and trained in Paris before moving to London, living most of his life in Europe. He enjoyed international acclaim as a portrait painter.
From the beginning, Sargent’s work is characterized by remarkable technical facility, particularly in his ability to draw with a brush, which in later years inspired admiration as well as criticism for a supposed superficiality.
In later life Sargent expressed ambivalence about the restrictions of formal portrait work, and devoted much of his energy to mural painting and working en plein air. Art historians generally ignored “society” artists such as Sargent until the late 20th century.”
Today at d’Verse we are writing Ekphratic poems picking one of the five Painting titles give to us by Laura. We are to write our poems painting word pictures describing what that might mean. They we have the option of writing an ekphratic poem from the actual painting itself. I chose The Painter Without a Brush (abstract iii). (Painting below)
A few years ago I painted this waterfall. It started out from a completely different perspective. It was originally a painting of Looking Glass Falls in the Pisgah National Forest, NC. I had it sitting upside down in my garage. When I looked at it, I loved the way the perspective of the overhanging rocks changed as the painting rotated. I decided to turn it sideways and paint the waterfall flowing from the opposite direction.
The bottom painting was the original and the top painting is the redo. I added in more rocks and extended the waterfall to the bottom. I like the way it turned out. If you rotate the bottom painting you can see how the perspective changes.
It was one of the most fun paintings I have ever done! A few years ago, I was asked by a neighbor down the street to paint a mural of the Hobbiton Shire, on their garage wall, for her husband’s Christmas present. He was a big fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It was my first attempt at anything quite this extensive, but I agreed to do it. I tried to incorporate significant parts of the story into the painting. This is how it turned out.
This is my second painting of horses running in the surf. The person who bought the first one asked for a second one with some darker horses. I went back to basics and this painting turned out even better than my white horses. The gold leaf frame is from the Habitat Restore as is the recycled 18 x 20 canvas!
The horses remind me of the wild horses that roam on the outer banks of North Carolina and Virginia.
A couple of years ago I painted a large 4′ x 5′ painting of white horses running in the surf. I saw a video of this and thought it would make a great painting. It turned out very well. A year later I decided to try to do a smaller 16″ x 20″. After working on it awhile I laid it aside. It just was not coming out like I wanted. Later I went back to it again and again laid it aside. Finally this year I thought I would give it one last try and this fall started working on it again. What I discovered is you cannot paint something just white. There has to be shadows and shades of gray and purple to make it show the contrast needed so the white can be highlighted.
This past week I finally got it done to my satisfaction. When I put it on my facebook page, one of my friends said she wanted to buy it! So today it got packed up and shipped to South Carolina. I am very happy she liked it as much as I did.
Black and White looks stark
Accents and highlights don’t show
without shades of gray
Much like the rest of us
Trying once again to blend
Today is World Kindness Day celebrated in many countries.
Perhaps the US should consider adding it to our list of celebrations.
….can be the first step to restoration and beauty!
I am sharing this post to show that even the broken can be restored and what others throw in the dumpster can become treasures. This guitar was about to be tossed at the Habitat Restore where I volunteer. I got it and brought it home to work on. I saw it was a vintage guitar from 1937. I could not afford to have it totally restored, so I decided to do it myself and keep it as an art piece.
It was very badly damaged inside and out, but I managed to get it back together using plastic wood. I sanded it smooth and primed it for painting.
I wanted to paint a somewhat Spanish type design to reflect its origins. This is how it turned out. I then covered it with clear coating to preserve it. I was able to tune it up and it held together. It is now in my hallway as a decorative piece.
This rocker was taken from a pile of trash along the street back in the mid 1990s. It had no rockers and was cracked on the seat. The head piece was discolored from hear gel. I stripped the head and restained it. I fixed the seat and made new rockers from 2x4s. I embedded dowels into the legs so I could attach the rockers. We have had it in our home ever since. It sits very well.
This Esteban Guitar was given to me by a friend who had dropped it and busted the end as you can see. I used Bondo body filler to fill in the broken area. After sanding it down, I decided I would paint a picture on it to cover the damaged areas.
This is the end result. I was very pleased with the way it turned out. It played very well. I sold it to a lady who gave it to her daughter for Christmas so she could learn to play.
These are just a few of the many things I have rescued over the years.
This has been great painting weather. Today I found an old painting I did back in 2013. It was a black swallowtail from my garden on a 4′ x 5′ canvas. I liked the painting but it was too big for anyone to be interested in, so I cut it down to 31″ x 48,” leaving just he butterfly, and used the top half for another painting I did last year. I had the canvas stored rolled up and it had a couple of places that were damaged, so i decided to remount what was left and touch it up. It turned into a greater restoration than I expected, but I like the end results.