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30.8.05

My Ode to Summer

Serious ChallengeThis is becoming a habit: summer ending. I have mixed feelings about it. Summer allows for a total change in our daily flow, with picnics (real tomatoes and corn), concerts and festivals, road trips and mosquitoes. Let us not forget the International Back Yard Crochet and Beer Fest. That draws a crowd.

Studio time also gets shifted. Instead of blocks of time to paint, I adapt to the moment, especially when the temperature reaches the 90s and floating downstream on a tube is more beneficial to the creative process. Picasso would have done that; Matisse, no.

The HeroThe process of making art is a challenge under any conditions. The summer season is a refreshing step out of the studio. Some of the more important activities of life, such as fishing, boating, and beach going, are great opportunities to inspire a painting. Water, water everywhere, the paintings of summer make the artist come to grips with it. What will it look like? Is there “deeper” meaning? (Sorry.) Fire up the grill! The camp fire for smores, torches and candles; if you're going to paint summer, fire is as challenging to conceive as water. Flesh, bikini exposed and sun drenched, some that should not be: there are a rainbow of possibilities.

I’ll miss you, Summer. Back to a routine. The one routine I’m missing most this year is driving one young lady to school everyday. Fourteen years of beautiful sunrises, rain, snow, traffic, breakfasts to go, and some of the sweetest conversations I’ve ever had. Go ahead, get your driver's license. Slow down!

Mark Barry (www.markbarryportfolio.com) is an artist working near Baltimore.

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