Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pansies in frappucino bottle

Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, #171
7 x 5'', 2009

As a painter, whenever I see pansies at the market or greenhouse, they literally stops me in my tracks. You almost get the feeling that their interesting splattered color patterns had been created by some form of explosion originating from the center of their bloom.

I have a weakness for logos, commercial items that put a lot of thought in classic design that becomes part of popular culture. The Starbucks logo is one of them. It is based on a classic 15th century Norse woodcut of a mythical two-tailed mermaid siren. I remember visiting Vancouver in 1987, there was a buzz about a hip new coffee shop. Starbucks served fancy coffees, Jones Soda Pop and homemade desserts. The small coffeehouse that originated and first opened it's door at Pike Place Market in Seattle in 1971, has since become the largest coffeehouse chain in the world, with stores in 49 countries. During another trip to Vancouver in 1991, we rented a car in order to visit beautiful Victoria and Seattle. Pike Place Market is a historic property (1907) and one of the oldest continually operated farmer's market in the USA. My most vivid memory of that place was not Starbucks, but patrons buying seafood at the fish market while the fishmongers were bellowing at the top of their lungs and throwing salmons towards the clients who caught them in an open newspaper. It truly had a Carnival-like atmosphere.

On a sadder note.......I want to dedicate this image to my aunt and godmother, Rachelle Richard, who's funeral service I attended this morning. She has always been a part of my life ever since I was born. After I left home, even though my visitations were less frequent, our relationship endured. She was a very gracious, attentive, generous person who truly loved life and her family. She was a five-year breast cancer survivor. Last year, cancer would reappear in her lung, and she fought a very valiant battle until she accepted her faith with dignity. She also had an extended circle of friends who would often visit her. During the wake last evening, it was mentioned that on certain days there was probably more coffee served in her kitchen than the local Tim Horton. The word Pansy in french is ''Pensée''. ''Pensée'' has a second definition as ''a thought''. Today, my thoughts are with her and all those who loved her dearly.

Part of my solo show- Near & Far - October 16-30, 2009.