The subject or rather the inspiration for these paintings comes from a chance encounter with a traveler who I met at Old Woman Bay on Lake Superior a few years back.
The day was overcast with a bit of rain coming down. I was set to take a few photos when I noticed a couple walking on the beach. I approached them and asked the girl if she would go back down the beach and pose holding the red umbrella...she did and I managed a few shots.
Somewhere in my consciousness the story began to take shape.
I received an email from her later in January with a request for the photo file...sadly the photo card went missing(it surfaced a little while ago) but an image of the "Girl With The Red Umbrella" started to emerge from memory and spilled out onto a small "5X7" canvas: that's when she started talking as well. A new series of artwork and poems celebrating the beautiful coastline of Lake Superior was born!
Girl With The Red Umbrella Poetry: Celebrating the beauty of the Lake Superior Coastline and
that wonderful and fragile Life Force that exist and sustains each and everyone of us.
(This is the poem that came with the first painting.)
The Girl With The Red Umbrella
Sheltered from the elements
under my umbrella
here at Old Woman Bay
I gaze out on the water
and see something
way out on the horizon.
I can't quite put my finger on it
but I know it's something that
we are all looking for:
Tenderness and Love
there's Hope just around
the next point.
All poets sleep
under the same moon.
It shines in our dreams
illuminating our way
and guides us
to the same campfire.
Girl With The Red Umbrella Has A Dream
I'm wide awake now
three thousand miles away
from the biggest freshwater lake
in the world.
I can still hear
the sound of the waves
crashing on the shore.
I think it was the cold water
of Lake Superior lapping at my feet
that made me leave the most
incredibly vivid dream
I've ever experienced.
A campfire was burning
on the sandy beach of
Old Woman Bay and a
red canoe was pulled up on the sand,
away from the surging waves.
There was a man standing on the shoreline
way down the beach.
I could hear him yelling: ..."this is the most
beautiful place in the world"...(over and over
again...like a mantra.)
I have to write this before the feeling leaves me
and I roll back into my dream:
Under a big moon and a blanket of stars
I will sing the praises of this fragile creation
Like a mother holding her newborn
she caresses me with her wind
and her gentle rain
washes away all my tears
and memory of pain.
Campfires and Marshmallows
I never want to leave this place...
I've tried several times today to
leave Old Woman Bay and continue on my journey,
but I found myself walking on the beach
and gathering firewood and building a campfire.
Later when the fire was just right
roasting wieners and a few marshmallows
for an evening meal.
I never want to leave this place...
I can hear her whispering to me
the old woman that lives here
in the shelter of this bay.
Was she once like me ....a wearer traveler
looking for a place to rest and reflect?
Perhaps she couldn't bring herself to
leave this beautiful place.
Her Spirit lives hear now...
mine travels to this sacred place
that's only a moment away
in my dreams.
Note: ...." the girl with the red umbrella popped up again on a small canvas I had just started. I was well on my way to a nice little Lake Superior landscape when I decided to make room for her. I ended up scraping most of the paint off the canvas....and smeared a bit more paint for a backdrop and voila the lady started to appear standing next to a tree...I scratched a small poem on the back of the canvas for her. (It feels kinda weird painting and blogging for this lady but believe me I'm in total control and she's just along for the ride...I hope!)
She haunts my dreams
with her memories...this
girl with the red umbrella
whispers words I can barely hear
sweet familiar words.
Another wave breaks
on the shoreline
as I roll back into my dreams.
I see a light on
The girl with the red umbrella made an appearance in my "Hole in the wall studio" again this afternoon. The girl just pushes me around and I can't help myself.
What would you do with a lady that demands to be painted and puts words in your mouth?
(I kinda of like it!) here she is:
By The Light Of My Soul
wind in the sails
I'm sailing in a land
way beyond my dreams
at the edge of the world.
I'll never be lost
I'll never be afraid
and this dream will
My destination is always
guided by the compass
that's built into my heart.
I can read it in total darkness
by the light of my soul.