Monday, August 15, 2011

Door County: "Where the Wild Things Go"

"Where the Wild Things Go", 12" x 12", Oil
Copyright 2011, Debra Joyce Dawson
SOLD and living in Wisconsin

The first part of this story appears in my July 20, 2011 post, and shows the 6" x 6" painting that I did before the competition began. That small painting was completed in early afternoon. Here's the link to that post showing the start and finish of the small painting.

For "Where the Wild Things Go", I revisited this quiet spot on ZZ, just east of Sumac Lane. If you make the right turn to go north on ZZ you have gone too far. It was really nothing more than a place to pull off.

I was looking north to paint both pictures, and painted this second one in the morning. Looking to the left of where I stood, there was a distant farm sitting at the edge of a meadow animated with wild flowers; turning a little to the right, there were more pine trees.

As Cezanne said, " . . . make a quarter turn and there is another painting." But I decided to paint the exact same viewpoint, and in the morning, there were nice shadows falling across the road on that sunny Thursday morning.
I could just as easily have named the painting "Thursday Morning", but one always hopes for a more poetic title. Still "Tuesday Afternoon" was good enough for the Moody Blues.
When the time came to sit down and fill in my paperwork for the exhibition, I thought back to another painting I did during the inaugural Door County Plein Air Festival. I called it "Walk on the Walk Side", the title inspired by a song you might remember by Lou Reed.
Reed once said about the song: "I always thought it would be fun to introduce people to characters they maybe hadn't met before, or hadn't wanted to meet." I'd like to think my paintings could introduce viewers to things they pass, but don't see.
Armed with the memory of the first painting and it's title, I pondered what I could do with the word 'wild'. Wild Thing (another great song), but not the right mood for the painting. Wild place? Yes it was a wild place - even if man had trampled it a bit. After all, hadn't someone, or thing, created that path leading into the wild where I never walked. So, "Where the Wild Things Go", giving a nod to Maurice Sendak, was a logical progression.

Maurice Sendak; photograph from the Rosenbach Museum
and Library, Philadelphia From “Where the Wild Things Are” (1963)

Here's a link to an article written in 2008 where Mr. Sendak consider's how history will remember his work.

I wasn't wild enough that day to walk down that road, but the title might lead a viewer, traveling down that path in the painting, to get in touch with some wild place or memory within themselves.
This wild place held a certain magic for me and my eyes.
Anything wild could have been lurking in there,
watching me while I painted.
It really is all about
me and my imagination!

And you and yours.

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