Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A note of Whimsey

If routines are boring, Karen and I plead guilty.  Most nights we settle down on a green rug in front of our gas fireplace to play a game of Upwords -- somewhat like Scrabble with a vertical element.  We even cheat.  We look up words in a Scrabble dictionary and we lay our tiles face up on the rug so we can help each other.  Still Karen usually wins.  Of course. 

Perhaps less boring are our spiral notebook “score” pads.  You won’t see Don and Karen at the top, not even D and K.  No, Karen precedes most games by manning (should that be womanning?) the pencil and drawing whimsical critters at the top of the page.  When Karen’s on a winning streak the figures are pretty friendly, perhaps some silly chickens losing feathers with lots of hearts.  However, when she’s losing a few games her aggressive side shows up -- perhaps a running watermelon spitting seeds at a fleeing pig.  Yes, Karen has a dark side.

A visit by friends Pastor Carroll and Cynthia Marohl last summer prompted Karen to bring out the latest score “pad.”  Most turns of the page brought out a chuckle (Hopefully from seeing the drawings and not who seemed to come in second so often) until Karen piped up that she’d like to give the Marohl’s a gift -- a painting based on one or more of those drawings.  YES!  And thus, “A Note of Whimsey” was conceived.

                                                 A Note of Whimsey    7 x 10 1/4 inches    Watercolor

For Karen these kinds of paintings come as naturally as eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich does for me.   After all she was a 2nd and 3rd grade teacher before she married me to whisk her away to towns with no need for new teachers.  Back then she excited her students on a daily basis, capitalizing on her sense of play with chalk or other drawing materials.   I wonder how many of her students went on to become artists, or at least enlivened the sense of learning in their own children this way?

It didn’t take long for “A Note of Whimsey” to emerge on a sheet of watercolor paper, an emergence that is bound to delight current as well as future generations of Marohls.  Oh, and me too.

The theme struck a note of interest by another former pastor. too.  "Would you be willing to paint another?"  Karen has a soft spot for any request from friends and thus, "It's Not Who-o-o You Are, but Whose You Are" was conceived.  I hope she paints more in this series.  

                                    It's Not Who-o-o You Are, But Whose You Are    9 x 12 inches    Watercolor

Since not all of you can look at our notebooks today, here are a few samples of Karen's headings on our score sheets:

                              Karen must have lost a game or two due to the level of aggression exhibited in this one.  

          Karen seemed to be on a winning streak here -- until the last game depicts a hint of her "Darth Vader" side.

                                                    Karen must have been on a winning streak on this page.

                                                          Hearts suggest Karen was once again winning. 

                                                          More hearts.  Yep, you guessed the final outcome.

These give you an idea what I've been up against.  In case you're curious about the final scores, the individual (Karen) in the left column usually wins -- sometimes by more than 100 points.  I think I've only won by 100 points once in all of recorded history.



Susan Christensen said...

I absolutely love your pencil critters Karen!
great post Don.
Happy Little Norway festival to you both from me and Flossy in Denver.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy I am the proud owner of "it is not important WHOOOOOOyou are, but WHOSE you are" Thank you!!!
I love you Karen--and Don too!
Mary Ann

Dana Konings said...

You and Karen have the most amazing stories, such a joyous read :), hope your'e both well, keep on painting :). Have a good weekend!

Don and Karen Cornelius Artwork said...

Thanks Sus and Mary Ann from Karen and me. Mary Ann: Karen is so happy it hangs in your home and that you provided the catalyst for it's creation.

Sus, the festival won't be the same without you here, but we know your parents are grateful for your presence with Flossy in Denver.

Don and Karen Cornelius Artwork said...

And Dana: Your comment just popped up after my last response. Thank you. Maybe some day you can come to Petersburg for our Little Norway Festival. We see visitors from your country just about every year. Hammerfest is our "sister" city although I know the climate is much colder there. Maybe it's because Hammer is a common surname around here. We hope you also have a good weekend.