Archive for April 1st, 2011

As I walk down to get the newsapaper in the morning, often in the dark, I will sometimes begin to think about what I might write in that day’s blog entry.  But sometimes the my mind might be occupied with the chorus of some long past song that mysteriously pops into my head without my permission.  Sometimes it’s pleasurable and sometimes I find myself asking how this annoying ditty became entangled in the synapses.  Today was such a day.

Up, up with people
You meet them wherever you go
Up, up with people
They’re the best kind of folks I know

Oh, god, no!  It was chorus from Up With People!   If you have never heard it, it’s a sugary sweet tune of upbeat energy that spews a love of all people everywhere that sprung from a traveling group of youths that began touring the world in the mid-60’s and are still doing so to this day.  Growing up, they quite often came through our area and the airwaves would be filled with television and radio commercials of this annoyingly happy song.  The TV ads showed very attractive young women and men with exceedingly large smiles and neat Osmondish hair.  I think there were sweater vests and pressed bell bottoms but can’t be sure if my memory is correct.  We forced by a grade school teacher to learn this song and to this day it has periodically wormed its way forward through the tangled mess in my brain to emerge, much to my chagrin.  Some people have LSD flashbacks, I have this damn song of ultra optimism.

Which brings me to the painting shown above, a smaller 12″ by 16″ canvas that I recently finished.  It threw me for a loop as I neared completion, it’s feel so completely different than that I had envisioned as I worked on it in its earlier stages.  It may be the mosy overtly optimistic thing I have ever done.  It is bright and happy and even the dark edges that I often employ as emotional counterweights seem far removed and less ominous.  It oozes positive energy.  As I said, I was taken aback by this.  Much of my work is forward looking and has an optimistic perspective but this seemed to push optimism to the extreme and made me a bit nervous because I found myself really beginning to like this small piece that wore its positive message like a badge of honor.  There is a simple naivete to it of which I find myself  feeling very protective, as though it is something I know can’t exist for long in this cynical world without someone looking out for it.

Days of viewing this painting has not changed that feeling.  I’m still surprised by this piece but it somehow works for me.  I’m thinking of calling it Pollyanna.

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