Journal Entry, March 13, 2019 – Stories

10 p.m.
Got home from the beach about 4:30; worked on finishing the 2nd painting for the Pedals and Paws show. Curating the show has been time-consuming, but I love seeing the enthusiasm and various paths that artists take. There are going to be 31 artists in the show and I think a lot of guests.

My paintings have ended up as I intended, which is not always the case when working with wax and torches. One is a painting contains the lone figure of a person and a dog walking on the beach and facing off against a crowd of seagulls. I hope the story it tells and its title, “The Days of Me and You” will resonate with others.

The other painting has been the most difficult encaustic I’ve done, layers and separated layers of wax shaded together with cold wax and oil pigment. It’s a still life of things that recall some stories from the past – our children when they were young and another memory about a wonderful, but previously mistreated cat who spent his first week at our house sleeping on my chest – I was recovering from a knee injury. I glance back in this journal and see that I wrote about some of the stories hidden in the painting last week, but I didn’t mention having painted one of Lucky’s toys into the painting; a baseball that I found while running in Arizona with Ace (my daughter’s old dog); a ball, that once I returned home, Lucky and I made a game of; his pretending to be cautious and guilty as he turned his head to lift the ball out of my nightstand drawer – my saying, “Lucky what do you have….is that Papa’s ball…careful” and his gently, but timidly pretending to keep it away from me.

Neither of us ever tired of that game about the ownership of the storied ball. I throw it to myself now – straight up and back into my hand like Charlie (my grandfather) used to do when he was telling a story. I don’t remember many of the stories that Charlie shared, but I do remember watching him tossing that ball into the air. I also painted a jar of marbles into the piece, marbles that Walt’s dad gave me when he was about the age I am now. And the painting contains a box that is almost hidden, a box that spends its days on the bookshelf in my office and contains other stuff given to me by friends over the years – the meaning of the objects to me unknown forever to them (my friends).

I titled the painting, “Doorways” and I hope it doesn’t sell at the show. I have to hang the painting because of my commitment in having listed its title and it appearing in an ad, but I’d like to keep the painting in the family where the stories it tells will probably also forever remain unknown to them.

I’m tired tonight. The beach was terrific. We stopped to see Paul (Kathy’s brother who lives in a memory care unit) on our way home. He was more animated than last month but could find no words or thoughts that he could sew together and he had trouble walking. As is the case in most close friendships, there have been many stories created in Paul and my relationship over the years, most of them, like those represented in the painting and contained in the box – those stories of ‘the days of me and you’ – now known only to me.