In January/February 2021 I took an online painting class at Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, PA. The class was called BLENDING ABSTRACTION AND REPRESENTATION, and over six sessions our class explored the continuum between these two endpoints of a line.
The class was structured so that we worked on our individual artworks in our home studios while participating in discussions and vewing demonstrations by the teacher. I did quite a bit of work and I’ll be showing them to you over a few posts.
Thanks to my instructor, Lesa Chittenden Lim, and my classmates, for a good experience.
Here’s a painting I did. It’s called “Casey Key”, and it is 20″ x 16″, done in acrylics on canvas.
It’s memory painting. When I was very young, about 4 years old, right before I went to kindergarten, our family went to this location near Sarasota, Florida. My mother, father, aunt, uncle, and one cousin and I drove from Nashville, TN, to Florida. It took us two full days to get there. We stayed in a small house perched above the beach on a high dune. At that time, very few people lived in the area, and the beach was usually empty. We had plenty of room and space to enjoy the sky and ocean’s vastness.
This trip was memorable for so many reasons – first time I ever got up when it was still dark (we left very early each day because the trip was so long). First time I ever stayed in a motel. First time I ever saw the ocean – one of the most memorable things that has ever happened to me, as I look back.
As soon as I could, I got out to the beach and the water. I swam in the ocean when no one else wanted to go in the water. I made sand castles and yes – this is the trip when a tiny fish swam into my hair. (You can see the artwork I have made about this incident and read the story here.)
I loved everything about this trip. The memories are very clear almost 60 years later.
Such a sweet memory – and so nicely translated on to the canvas! Love it.
Thank you. This was a great event in my life, and I still remember it so clearly.
This is really magnificent! Also, it reminds me that not every person lives near a coast, something I never thought much about until I met someone (in my late teens) who never had seen the ocean. I had never thought about that before that point.
Ye. In my childhood not many people had been to the ocean. For our family to take a trip like this was really out of the ordinary and something that therefore gained importance to remember it, just from how much discussion it brought up in our family and friends.
I enjoyed reading about your memory and seeing the wonderful painting!
Thank you. It would take time travel but I’d love to spend a day in the place and time once again.
Fish in the ear can be a good thing. You never know where that might lead.
Things were certainly different back then, I thought as I made this painting, not the least of which, being 4 years old is a lot different than 60+ all right… but some thing never change. I hope soon I can make a trip to the ocean again.
Sometimes I think it’s a pity we don’t experience things with the same intensity as we do as children. Or perhaps that would lead to a sensory overload, in the long run? Beautiful memories and painting. I grew up by a lake and we went on trips with our boat every summer, sometimes to the coast, which was in our case the Baltic Sea, so not really a big ocean. I can’t remember the first time I saw the horizon by the water, it must have sneaked upon me without me noticing. It sounds like an impressive memory to have!
Thank you. I read somewhere that our earliest memories are our most intense. I guess the idea is that they have had time to entrench themselves over the years, plus, at the time they were formed, they did not have a lot of competition from older memories for space! I like that thought and I think it is true. I have been enjoying reflecting on the past in this last year and painting it is one way to remember it.
So awesome! A great memory and I love the painting!
A vivid painting to match a clear memory
Yes, it was a long time ago but it doesn’t seem that way when I go into the memory itself. Sometimes I cannot believe I am not still that same little girl.
I know what you mean