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Friday, November 5, 2010

A March School Day

"A March School Day" takes the Bronze Medal at the OPA Western Regional
(Juror: Albert Handell)
This 16"x16" oil painting depicts a scene in Wylie, TX, but it also represents small town America and those memorable days growing up when we rode the bus to school.
I chose a square format because I wanted to compress the scene somewhat and use the wet roadway as a strong, dark value shape leading to the focal point. The orange school bus became a natural complement to the wet asphalt.
The values for this painting were first established by doing a fairly refined raw umber block-in. Once dry, a palette using white, prussian blue, alizarin crimson, and cadmium yellow medium was selected to complete the piece.
My friend, Bernard Gieske, a writer and poet, captured the sentiment of this painting in the
following poem.
Bus Stop
our bus moved on
through the routine of life
across the tracks of time
pass the signs that told us
to live life cautiously
we think of Joe, Mary, and Judy
Margie, Jane and maybe Charles
those cold mornings
standing in the snow
waiting for our ride
along the worn streets
the shuttered houses
sending morning puffs of smoke
to waken the day
the nickel and dime store
where I bought a kite one summer
there's Meyer's Grocery Store
good for penny candy
we rode as if
fitted into our places
traveling the school route
with a handful of books
and homework done the night before
this was our world for now
the history of our making
our week parceled out day by day
our time separated into subjects
our hours programed by others
our places assigned and seated
all neatly arranged and scheduled
we welcomed the whistle of the train
going places we could only dream of
counting the cars as they passed by
and last of all - the red caboose
we followed it until it disappeared
down the tracks
how stoically we wore the days
like the mailmen in all kinds of weather
life is a constant path of learning
choosing destinations to many places
reading signs of where we want to go
riding with others along the way
wondering how we all got from there to here
remembering those early morning bus rides



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