Lunch Drawing #13: A Spider for Ellen Lanyon

Lunch Drawing #13: A Spider for Ellen LanyonMy friend Ellen Lanyon passed away.

She was a tough old painter who enjoyed a long and amazing evolution as an artist. She had a deep connection to nature; its nuances and riddles, digressions and mystery. She rendered these ideas with a kind of magic that was singular, and only like herself. A painting of spiders, colored like candy emerging from nesting boxes, is a particular favorite.

She once attended a talk I gave at Ox-Bow 25 years ago, which was full of my anti-academic, bloviating ridicule and it played well with the kids. She walked up to me and said “You know, you make a lot of noise, Buddy. If I were about a foot taller I might just poke you in the nose.”

I looked at her and replied, “Then I’m damned lucky that you have to stand on a box to kick a duck in the ass.”  A smile crept across her face and she laughed.

It was the beginning of a friendship that lasted 30 years. This one is for her.

Godspeed Ellen Lanyon…

Published in: on October 9, 2013 at 1:09 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,

Lunch Drawing: Pinwheel Spinner

Pinwheel Spinner

Spiders have always scared the hell out of me. Only lately have I stopped killing them. They are incredibly useful; eating nits and mosquitoes and flies and lots of them. Still. . . they give me the willies.

My favorite childhood story is about a spider, Charlotte’s Web. It is a gentle and beautiful meditation on the life-cycle, without all of the religious horseshit. At the end, when the hundreds of Charlotte’s babies are blown into the world, suspended by their silken-thread parachutes, I’d cry like a baby. My daughter, Gaby loved this story and for years, would make me read it to her at bedtime.

There is that part of me that wishes my daughter stayed 5 years old and didn’t lose her sense of wonder at Charlotte and Wilbur and their rustic life in a barn.

Now she is a half a world away , going to college in Florence. We Skype every day and I’m about to send her a box of Hot Cheetos and Skittles over there. Evidently the candy in Florence is lousy.

Maybe I’ll tuck in a copy of Charlotte’s Web.

Published in: on September 18, 2013 at 7:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: