Friday, July 26, 2013

Oilcan Gothic

You know Grant Wood's "American Gothic" right? Dour woman next to somber man with pitchfork? Standing side by side and all serious about life. I was reminded of that painting when I put these oilcans together.

Not that I'm comparing! But, I can make a sort of connection.

Wood's "American Gothic" has been described as a "depiction of the American pioneer spirit." Well, I'm from New York so it's not quite my pioneer spirit. Pitchforks? No. Oilcans, definitely.

My Dad was a pilot, but he was, above all, a master tinkerer. There wasn't anything he couldn't repair or improve. His pioneer spirit included inventing ways to make tasks easier. And we kids were part of his team: building, digging... whatever. There was never any thought of hiring someone to do a job. Just figure it out. So I guess that's why old tools trigger nostalgia for me.

Working on this painting I thought about his many projects and all the supplies we fetched: "Workbench. Left side. Third shelf. In the back. I'm counting to ten." Tasks mixed with the scent of oil and sawdust.

Adding more personal meaning is the 200 year old beam - it's from my basement. Such character in old wood! The oilcan on the left was lent by a friend. I found the blue one in an antique shop and it was love at first sight.

Don't they make the perfect couple? She: elegant in a silvery, Cinderella gown. He: tall and handsome in dress blues (use your imagination, people). Clearly, there's nothing they can't handle.

Quintessentially American Gothic of the workingclass/workbench variety!

"Oilcan Gothic" ©Dorothy Lorenze.  oil on linen  11x14"

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Independence Rules!

July 4th - our national holiday dedicated to Independence! How great is that!?! In addition to raising the flag and honoring country maybe take a minute to ponder your personal independence. Not just freedom, as awesome as that is, but independence.

It may sound self-centered, but go ahead, you've got congress behind you. More or less.

This independence-thing has to do with knowing and doing what's best for you - as in being your best self ...not selfish. So it's also about caring for others and being the best parent-partner-person possible. But you can't be yourself if you lose yourself always going-with-the-flow or pleasing anyone-but-yourself. It's far easier said than done.

Take a chance and break out of some anti-independence habits this July 4th:
  • forget about what's "trending" - connect with what inspires you 
  • leave negativity behind - embrace those of generous spirit
  • move beyond your comfort zone - push the limits to see what you can actually do
  • believe in yourself like your life depends on YOU - because, honestly... it does
Independent thinking is an important element of creativity. It's been a pretty creative year for me and I just want to wish everyone all the joy that comes from being yourself and reaching toward your dreams and goals.  

Be your own most creative self!
Happy Independence Day!

For the patriotic July 4th, I'm posting my only red, white and blue painting. Coincidentally, it was sold at my very first, independent, solo, art exhibit - something that used to be way outside my comfort zone.

Chubby Pepper ©2012 Dorothy Lorenze