Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Patty's Stump

Patty’s request sounded simple.  “Would you paint my stump?”  She had seen a couple of my gnome paintings  and wanted one -- the stump in her back yard with gnomes in it.

Karen and I ventured with our cameras behind her house several times during the ensuing months.  Patty has an eclectic assortment of items arranged around an old spruce or hemlock stump -- a reminder of the old growth forest that once dominated Petersburg’s Hungry Point.  There we found a metal insect “sculpture” -- spoons welded to a large washer.  A fairy princess, blue door, three man-made mushrooms, an overgrown birch bird house, flower pots, a broken wagon wheel all showed Patty dearly loved her old stump.

                                                                The actual stump in Patty's back yard

Still, I just couldn’t get inspired.  Then Patty relieved the pressure.  She didn’t care if everything was to scale or where she had placed them on the stump.  She just wanted one of my gnome paintings.  I could even add things that weren’t there.  It felt as if I could paint a portrait that didn’t have to look like the model. 

With that, and suggestions from Karen, I was off and running -- having a grand time adding whatever struck my fancy.  I had so much fun that in the end I felt Patty had given me a wonderful gift -- the chance to let my imagination run free with a pretty-sure prize at the end.

And so "Patty’s Stump Erupts in Play When She’s Away" was conceived.  As a spin off, when Karen and I set off on future road trips or even on Karen’s almost daily jaunts to the Salvation Army Thrift Store we’re going to be on the lookout for additions to the stump.  Then again, maybe we could even start our own stump.  

Patty's Stump Erupts in Play When She's Away    22 x 28 inches    Alkyd on Canvas.  You can see the two images don't quite match.  I moved the tree to the left of the stump forward.  So much for accurate depictions of real settings.

                                                                              Left side detail

                                                                            Upper right side detail

As you can see there's a lot of action in Patty's back yard when she's at work.

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