Gloom and a Smile

Dec 11, ‘14

it takes courage to grow up and be who you really are.

ee cummings

Feeling a bit testy today due to having been rudely woken quite early in the morning for the past 3 days.  A check that should have been here by now, hasn’t come.  My mother is a constant & growing concern.  There was snow on the ground this morning.  Etc, etc…..

The weather today and the color of the light is nothing other than glum.  Had  sun been shining, my inner weather would still be glum.

Work to me, this morning, was Therapy & Meditation.  Once I set myself down in my chair at my table, it’s as if some outer force takes over my body and a part of my detached mind that knows what to do, how it wants to do it takes over and does it, and the rest begins to happen.



Gloom, Culvert St. “11 or ’12 BEFORE



The gloomy outlook of today is well matched in this painting from Culvert St, done I know not when.  It’s a corner of a house and a garage on the south side of my former home.  I’m not sure webn.  I think it was 3 or 4 years ago.

Today seemed a perfect opportunity to take advantage of this particular  light and intensify the gloominess of this painting.  I had to remove a great deal of built up paint, do some scrubbing with q-tips, allow it to dry and then rework the tints and tones.  I then worked on another painting while this one dried, before I went back to finish it as much as I have.


The Day Cindy Smiled, early Jan ‘12

An uplifting moment at a point in my life when the burden seemed heavy and sorrowful….

This was a time that actually was heavy and sorrowful.  Cindy’s brother had ALS and was constantly in our minds, hearts and prominent in our lives.

A friend of mine was having a show of photography in a town about 25 miles southwest of Torrington.  I wanted to go and invited Cindy seeing how this was a good opportunity for a mini-getaway and a change of perspective.  We decided to make an afternoon of it and go somewhere for lunch after we went to the show.

On our way to the show, we decided to take one route over the other.  The route we took was down into a valley and then up a series of winding hills with a spectacular view to the southwest at the top before going down winding hills on the other side.

All the way, we talked about our heavy thoughts and feelings.    Cindy shared that she felt it had been a long time for her since smiles didn’t come naturally – spontaneously!

Until we reached the top of the hills, we were in a gloomy half-light due to murky cloud cover.  Closer to the top of the hill, we were aware of more light.  As we rounded the last corner and approached the top of the hill, the cloud cover had miraculously dispersed.  Spontaneously, Cindy smiled.

We pulled the car off the road and into a field at the top of the hill to sit there awhile and take it all in.    It was an uplifting moment.  I did a small sketch, took a photo with my cell phone and later, did the painting mostly from memory, the memory of the day and the sketch.

This morning I added as much more Light as I possibly could, until it felt right to my eyes.  Hopefully a future viewer will find this combination of color and shapes uplifting in some way.

After we had the moment where the sun burst through clouds onto a field of yellow and dried grasses, our spirits were lighter and we set off to the show.  My friend’s photographs were wonderful, a photographer from a local paper photographed me and Cindy admiring one of the images, I encountered a friend I hadn’t seen for years, one I knew when I lived in Vermont, I saw other people I knew….  Whew!

After the show, we went to lunch.  By this time, our troubles are behind us and our perspectives changed.  We ordered lunch, we waited, talked about our time adventure of the show and people we’d seen – and laughed.  A few people came in the door and sat at tables near us.  A short while after they were seated, a gentlemanly appearing man got up from his chair and approached our table, wanting to say something to Cindy.

He said “I just wanted to tell you, I think you have a beautiful smile.”

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1 Response to Gloom and a Smile

  1. beetleypete says:

    I am sure that recalling the tale of Cindy’s smile helped to lighten your mood,as well as your painting Gretchen. At least your woes have helped your work, the rooftop painting is much improved.
    Best wishes from England, Pete.

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