Thursday, April 15, 2010
MOSES BOTKIN CHALLENGE April - "Spring"
12x12" oil on canvas
First, let me just say..."time flies," whether one is having fun or not. This is in no way to suggest that I am not having fun, quite the contrary in fact. It just struck me that time passes, it seems to me, just as quickly either way. Digressing! "Spring!" is this month's challenge theme, given to us by Jeanne Illenye, the group's newest member and an incredible artist.
Spring, for me, always arrives dressed in a pair of brand new, super high-glossed, patent-leather Mary Janes, worn with the ever-tasteful and appropriate white anklet—little blue flowers adorning the scalloped edges, some kind of pastel colored frilly frock with lots of crinolines sticking out from underneath and banana curls, the result of sitting uncomfortably atop a stack of phone books in the beauty parlor for what seemed like days. The coveted coils, sadly, will later disappear at the slightest hint of moisture in the air.
For some reason Spring has been frozen in time for me. I'm between the ages of 5 and 10 and I'm all dressed up for Easter Sunday. I loved Easter Sunday as a child. It meant a very special dinner, cooked by my Mom, who was arguably, one of the best to ever darken the doors of a kitchen. We would come downstairs—that morning—to colorfully decorated baskets full of goodies and sweets along with a very loving letter written by our parents. It was all perfect, except that is, for the Easter Sunday church service. I dreaded it more than a trip to the dentist.
Each year, during the Easter service, us “little folk” were called upon to favor the congregation with a selection of some sort. This meant that those of us without so-so singing voices and/or budding musical instrument skills were relegated to standing in front of everyone to recite some inane little Easter/Spring poem. And as usual, the church, to my great horror, will be stuffed to capacity.
Fast forward. It's nearing my turn. The girl, whose thick long braids I coveted with every cell in my body, was nearing the end of her poem. I'm next! Dry mouth, hands shaking, knobby knees—buffed to a blinding shine with baby oil for the occasion—I made the long, lonely, terrifying walk past the choir, the pastor and all his attendants to my spot just to the left of the pulpit.
Swallowing nothing and refusing to look up, I clasped my hands together, tried to clear my throat, opened my mouth and croaked..
What are you lookin at me for?
I didn't come to stay.
I just came to wish you
A Happy Easter Day!
Pinch either side of the dress with thumb and forefinger, slip left foot behind right, bow your head and curtsy. It was over in a heartbeat, which I'm sure everyone could hear. Four weeks of dread, fear, nervous gas and the hiccups for four sentences.
Why does my painting not reflect my rather detailed description of my own personal Easter Sunday? I have no idea where those snapshots are but I found this incredibly dapper young man in my friend's photo album last year and pinched it!
Spring, as interpreted by the group, is delightful. Enjoy!
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin
En Plein Air
9x12" oil on panel
© 2010 Robin Cheers
The Lost Ribbon
8x8” oil on canvas
©2010 Jeanne Illenye
Oil on canvas, 18x18”
©2010 Michael Naples
©2010 Vicki Ross
9x12” oil on panel