Wednesday, December 16, 2009

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?


This piece of art has hung in every home we have ever lived in (except the studio apartment we lived in our first summer) for almost 24 years.  Funnily, it has been perfect in every place we have ever lived.  It was painted in 1959 by some guy named Bob Johnson.  He traded it for food in Eureka Springs,  Arkansas at a grocery store. 

We had been married a few months and had moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas.  We took a drive to the "artsy" community of Eureka Springs.  We were poor college students, so we browsed the galleries, ate at pizza hut and went to a garage sale of sorts.  The local grocery store was celebrating its 100th year in business.  It was selling everything it had taken in trade for food over the last 100 years.  We paid a whopping big fifteen bucks for this piece of art.  The canvas is aging, and probably needs to be seen by a specialist.  (I guess I should ask at the art center I volunteer at once a week.)  I would be devistated if something went wrong with the needed repairs...

What do you see in this painting?  I have studied it for years....I'd like to know what you see.

10 comments:

  1. I see people walking in the forest at night - not their heads, just their bodies. And there are some animals in there, too. I remember looking at this after dinner at your house one night - I can't remember what I saw then, it's probably different now. Cool piece of art!

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  2. I *love* this painting! The first thing I saw was a white elephant (mid-RHS), then a small red cricket peeping out a crack in blue curtains(lower LHS) I also see the hope of renewed passion (the red, dominant in the centre,but also scattering touches of its brightness into the far reaches of the painting) as one catches glimmers of a revelation breaking through the clouds (the blue streaks in the painting) This revelation could suggest a spiritual epiphany, as it looks like there are possibly three dots on the one stripe of blue in the top RHS corner - three dots could be symbolic of the sacred triad. Alternatively, if there are only two dots, it could symbolise the mystical or sacred union, where dualities merge into wholeness.

    I'm sure that's more than you wanted to know - but it's a lovely, harmonious piece of art and it speaks to me. :)

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  3. We have a local representative named Bob Johnson, I wonder if that is the same guy. He is about 65-70 yrs old.

    I have always seen laundry hanging on a line, but if I look at it longer, I see a knife, a kid with a backpack, a city building, some birds, some green pastures, and also some rocks. To me it is a representation of daily life in a home, cleaning, cooking, children, work, time to enjoy life's blessings, but also the inevitable rocky times.

    It is a lovely picture.

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  4. at first glance - shoes and books

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  5. Yeah, there's a white elephant in there. But it's not art. If I could duplicate it with my left hand (and I could) while being naturally right-handed (and I am), it's not art.

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" Stephen

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  6. That's great Stephen--I could use a new copy. This one has been around since 1959. (Although, I get the feeling you'd be better suited painting raindrops and whiskers on kittens. :) )

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  7. Well, sure, I can do raindrops and whiskers on kittens too if you'd like. But my paintings ain't free. They're gonna cost ya some canned goods, a case of soda pop, and a loaf of bread. (And by bread I mean "green stuff." And by green stuff I don't mean "mold on whole wheat.")

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

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  8. At first glance it reminds me of clothes hanging on clothes lines from appartment windows in a big city

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  9. Anon--That's what it always makes me think of too. It looks like an impoverished area of a city. I see a bull, a rat, a cobra,a dagger and a roach.

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