Sunday, June 9, 2013

Animals on the wall

I have on my wall a recent painting by my cousin Janet Nichols Derouin. Two mice with beady black eyes look at me as I walk by.  Well, no, they are actually looking at acorns they have gathered and a hole where they might store their acorns. The hole is real: Janet painted the mice and acorns on the surface of an old board with a knot hole. I like the old wood and the natural scene with the mice.
These mice remind me of much earlier artwork by Janet on a bedroom wall in our grandfather's house in Danvers.  I remember cute mice and other animals inspired by illustrations in children's books.  Today Janet told me the story of the origin of those wall paintings when she was a young mother in the 1950's -- a story I'll share in my next column.
Meanwhile Janet, now 83 and living in Maine, keeps on painting.  Her son Monty collects and prepares old boards for her and she uses the character of each board (e.g., its grain and texture) to inspire her painting.  Each summer she sells her paintings through a lovely gallery in Bridgton, Maine. If you're in that area, I recommend that you stop at LisaB's Summerplace , 268 Main Street, Bridgton, Maine (802-249-8967).   Lisa writes on her website,
 Our gallery of unparalleled Barn Board art is as special as the artist who creates it and well worth a trip in itself! 
More photos of Janet's board paintings:

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