Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Cliff Hanging Painting and Dead Mouse

You may wonder from this title how these two items can fit together, but in my life, two small events can be woven into the space of one week.

One can look at things in many ways, but having a sense of humor has worked very well for me. Why fight the ironies that life presents?

Last week I was painting on the Oregon Coast with a large group of fellow painters. From Monday on I was out every day painting plein air, fighting the elements while trying to create some good paintings with varying success. On Friday (my last day of painting) I decided to go for broke, painting on a full sheet (22" x 30")and using 300 lb. paper (very heavyweight and more expensive.) For most of the morning I painted next to Dee. We had such a dramatic view of this chasm at Rocky Creek.

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I had painted the rocky areas and finished about 1/2 of the painting. Because I was painting on such a large sheet of paper, I needed to step back a few feet to get a better vantage point. Just as I turned my back, a gust of wind picked up the painting which then sailed out of sight under the rocky cliff. The only way I could see it was walking around to the other side of the chasm.

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A close up.

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I guess I could have had a fit about it, but I really saw the humor of the whole thing. I felt the painting gods were teaching me a few lessons here:

-Be sure to secure a painting when painting outdoors.
-Don't take anything too seriously.
-Look for the good in an accident like this--no one can dispute that this is the best painting I ever did, and if completed would have been a masterpiece!

So where does the mouse come in? After my painting blew away, I traveled to Vancouver, WA. to help my daughter and son-in-law move to a new house. On Sunday my husband and I brought our 3 year-old and 6 year-old granddaughters home with us. I had not been home for a week, so I really don't know what lead up to the dead mouse incident.

All I can tell you is that two little girls called me into the dining area saying something yucky was under the table. It was not only yucky looking, but it smelled to high heaven. I took a paper towel to pick up the yucky thing to discover a decomposing mouse. Further more, under the rotting mouse were maggots. The two little girls were thoroughly grossed out, so I took the opportunity to give them a science lesson about the food chain and how all creatures have a job to do on earth. So when I vacuumed up the maggots, the 6 year-old lamented that I was keeping the creatures from doing their job!

Tune in next week when I'll post my new paintings from the Oregon Coast.


Anonymous said...

Well Margaret...

Think of it as landscape art, eh?

Either that or it's litter and the SOLV folks will knocking on your door. :-)


Anonymous said...

Aunt MSG,
I really enjoy your site, and think we need another of your paintings. How much for the one down the cliff? You are talented AND a great aunt.