Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Home Away from Home" (2011, oil on canvas)

(Private Collection)
This is a painting of the Wellington elementary school in Monticello. My son just finished first grade there and my daughter went there from pre-K through third grade before graduating to the Houlton Southside School last year. It's a wonderful little school and I spend a lot of time there, teaching art classes to the kids and volunteering for various things. A few years ago I painted a mural inside of Jack chopping down the beanstalk with the giant's feet coming down out of the ceiling. The school board threatened to close Wellington down this year but a large group of us parents, along with the Wellington staff, fought them and convinced them to keep the school open, at least for another year. My son's teacher, who was also the principal, retired this year and her husband asked me to paint a picture of the school. It was something that I'd always wanted to paint, anyway. The only difficulty was being able to get down there to work when the principal wasn't there, which was almost never. I went down on Mother's Day, figuring there was no way she'd be working that day and sure enough, she showed up to plant flowers out in front! Luckily, I'd brought my kids with me (giving my wife a couple of hours of peace and quiet) and they were riding their bikes around the parking lot so I had an excuse for being there.
At least half a dozen of the people who saw the painting pointed to the area on the hillside above the door and said "There's Tom Good's house." which I find interesting because it looks like this:

I like that people can look at what are essentially abstract swirls of paint and see something that they recognize.

1 comment:

martinealison said...

En France aussi nous nous heurtons à des fermetures d'école...
Très jolie peinture et un bel hommage à ce bâtiment.