Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Road to Beth's House

SOLD -Beth Vaughn was a wonderful storyteller, mentor, and friend. Her home was always filled with stories and laughter, and friends dropping in for a warm welcome.She and her husband Chuck (and their Border collie Cei) lived in a Victorian farmhouse house among shade trees. I painted this in the height of summer, taking many breaks to sit around their kitchen table and drink tea. Chuck appreciated that I got the vapor trails of the jets flying overhead “just right.”

This is an older painting but it brings back the memory of hot Maryland Summers and two lovely people as well as a very important lesson learned about life and painting. I had just finished the piece after many hot visits in the sun. It was pretty large ,by my standards( 3ftx2ft) When I started the field had just been plowed. When completed , the corn had tasseled. The clouds were added on the last day. I was getting really fussy and detail oriented having painted it out and starting over many times but now I was done! Just then a bee flew up the pantleg of my cargo shorts and I began to do the Bee Dance, knocking my painting off the easel and sending it flying through the air to land face down in the grass. All those weeks of work, gone. after dislodging the bee(no sting) I picked up the painting to survey the damage and found I liked the result better than before! The detail was gone, the clouds were blurred. Things looked simpler and less strained. A few minutes of touch up and I was happy. All because of a bee up the pantleg. I think many paintings could use a bee up the pantleg. When I told Beth and Chuck they laughed and laughed. I didn't think I could part with this painting, but it's time . I am now happy to be sending it out into the world in the care of two other old friends.