Thursday, June 28, 2012

Flight of the Suburbanites

Flight of the Suburbanites II, 12x12" ©2012 Kim Hambric

Yes, I fell in love with green again.  It may be a short affair.  Time will tell.

This is the second in a series of three (so far).  Flight of the suburbanites is a tale of those who go in search of the newest place to get away.  Is there a place to live where nature still exists?  How far out can we go?  Should one just return to the city?

A recent discussion with a Texas suburbanite set my gears in motion.  After living five years in a new house in an expansive new subdivision set among many other expansive new subdivisions, he informed us that it looked like it might be time to move.  Undesirables were moving in.  The buses were going to bring workers back and forth from the city.  Cultures were going to mix.  Onward and outward!  Or perhaps, he said, to a "used" house in a more upscale, established suburb.

Put on the top hat!  Grab the cane!  It's time for the turkeys to move on out.  Perhaps, once again, the birds will sing.  The trees will be green come spring.  Just remember, there are still going to be skunks, insects, and those pesky weeds.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Going Green

Not an environmental thing, though.

After two years of avoiding green, I decided I needed it in my artwork again.

So, the gathering of greens began.  However, there was no green paint in my collection.  A run to Michael's was in order.  I made a beeline for my usual paints, and, beneath the red clearance sign, was a smattering of bottles in a handful of ghastly colors.  Green not among them.  But there was a budget brand, and I figured that would be good enough.

But what about papers.  I would need some green papers.  I sponge painted a few vintage book pages, but I needed something else.  The something else was a vintage Better Homes and Gardens "New Garden Book."  Now, I don't hesitate long when taking the scissors to a vintage book, but this one was a bit different.  This book sat on my mother's desk for decades.  It might have belonged to my grandmother, who actually had an interest in gardening.  But, for my mother, it was probably an albatross of a book.  For some reason, she must have felt she couldn't throw it away.

My mother was NOT a gardener.  I'm not sure I ever saw her insert a plant or a seed into the ground.  When I was a child, I do recall a small grave-sized plot of land that was given over to petunias.  This teeny plot was located on the fringe of our 1/2-acre lot.  A nasty little stepchild type of garden.  Something you had to leave the house through the basement door to see.  I felt so sorry for all of the brilliant awning-striped petunias that spent their lonely days sizzling in the sun.  Perhaps my mother doted on them when she went out to hang wet laundry on the clothes line.  If so, I never saw that.

The garden book has sat among my chopped up tomes since my mother died and I brought the book home to live with me.  Every now and then I would look through its sparse information and dim photographs.  Then, as I was gathering greens, I gave the book another chance, and the book finally had a job to do.   Each chapter in the book has a divider page in a slightly faded rich green.  A stunning green!!!!  (see scraps marked "trees" and "shrubs" in top photo).  I convinced myself that my mother would approve of this book finally being put to use.  I've seen this book many times before in used bookstores and scoffed at its awkward three-ring-binderness and its mundane information.  If only I knew then of the rich green inside.

Now I am off to the studio to finish up this newest piece and begin another one with the pieces that did not make it into this first piece.