“Waiting for a Word”
A year and a half ago I went out to Fair Oaks and started this painting. Fair Oaks is a gorgeous estate in north central Florida, renowned for its diverse beauty and the welcome extended to artists to visit and paint. On that particular day and for some unknown reason I had endless trouble with my paints and canvas and I returned home extremely frustrated. My normal routine in such a situation would be to paint over the canvas and use it for something else. This time, however, a little voice in the back of my head said “DON’T!” and I actually listened. I kept the painting on my studio floor facing the wall and from time to time I would turn it around and study it, trying to figure out what I was going to do with it. On each subsequent trip to Fair Oaks I would stop at this spot, take a long look and sigh.
One day Linda Blondheim and I decided to head over to Fair Oaks and study the changing seasons. Linda brought her dog and as we got in the golf cart and started out we heard the pounding of feet on leaves and suddenly one of the resident dogs was on my lap! This happens every time one or both of us heads out in the golf cart, but that day I heard the answer to the question about my unfinished painting!
I realized that I had subconsciously been studying the personality and expressions of this beautiful dog who would explore the estate with us and when bored, run like the wind, then return seemingly to ask, “Are you coming?”. I snapped as many photos as I could and later when I returned to my studio I started sketching. The painting is now finished. This is the first time I’ve painted a dog and I’m hooked. I’m now hounding myself with ideas for two new paintings of dogs in different settings on the estate…
~ Mary Jane Volkmann