Friday, October 24, 2014

The Unscary Scarecrow

Yesterday, I went to Stella Niagara to paint. I was looking forward to making a painting and to seeing the sisters at Stella Niagara. They are Sisters of Saint Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, an order that was founded in the Netherlands by Mother Magdelen Damen in 1827. The order came to the United States in 1874, when three missionary sisters arrived in Buffalo. They are an order of teachers. Some of them travel overseas to teach. In fact, Sister Lois, who painted with us last year, is in Africa for nine months, teaching English and art. We look forward to seeing her again when her assignment is up.
We paint a variety of subject. Above is the painting that I made two weeks ago, when Virginia (our instructor) said that we were going to imitate Edgar Degas by painting ballet dancers. That was fun. The way I did that painting was to start with my background. I wanted the colors to change as the eye moved. Then I painted the dancers. They needed colorful costumes so I was happy to oblige.
The paintings are always posted on a bulletin board in the sisters' residence. We stopped calling it a "bulletin board." It has been renamed our "art gallery." The art gallery is changed every two weeks. The dancers came down from the art gallery yesterday. I would have posted the story of the dancers two weeks ago but... I went to Stella Niagara without my camera!!! (oops)

This time, the suggested topic for our paintings was something to do with autumn. I chose to paint a scarecrow, surrounded by some very mature sunflowers. The plants are old and definitely past their prime.
In my "real world" (is "real"over rated?), the flowers are losing their petals and are looking far more peaked than they do in this painting.
I started by sketching the scarecrow and the flowers, as well as a few crows. It appears that, from the perspective of the crows, the scarecrow is not very scary!
Once I finished sketching,I began by painting the scarecrow. I wanted to make him colorful but not too gaudy, sort of a cross between a scarecrow and a circus clown.

The scarecrow gets his fashion statement. Apparently, his owners gave him their old, worn-out clothing and just matched in any old random order. Do crows get scared off by scarecrows in odd get ups?

The poor scarecrow has failed in his mission. He is unable to scare any crow. One sits on him, waiting for him to recite Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven. "It's the story of my life. Why won't you speak."
But the scarecrow fails to recite the poem and he speaks... never more..."