Monday, June 7, 2010

Memorial Day. Two words which mean different things to different people. There is what I hope is the obvious meaning where we all remember and honor the courageous people who have fought to protect this country in both past and current conflicts. We owe these people our freedom.

But, for me, there is also the extra and implied meaning…the unofficial beginning of summer. Everyone has their favorite season and, to be quite honest, summer is not my favorite season. Summer brings humidity to the Northeast and I do not like humidity. So that we are clear, let me repeat…I DO NOT like humidity.

But what I do like to do is to paint outdoors and, while that can be done in any season, there is nothing like the promise of a full summer laid out before you. Most likely it is the vestigial imprint on my brain reminding me of time spent watching the calendar, counting the remaining days in the school year until I was free…FREE for two whole months! Memorial Day, to me, means freedom in a number of different ways.

The day promised to be a beauty and I knew immediately where I wanted to paint. I set off in the plein air mobile for Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay, NY. I had wandered through this beach on a few occasions in the past and knew it had everything I wanted for a painting on this day…blue sky and the blue waters of Oyster Bay, people strolling and relaxing and, most importantly, the American flag flying free in the slight breeze.