Would You Like to Swing with a Duck?, collage/acrylic, 6 x 6
Elizabeth W. Seaver
It is hard to believe that my 30+ day odyssey is over. All the paintings in my 30 x 30 show are up and out, and what a fun thing it has been to write and interact with my blogging friends about them. Thank you for joining me on my silly journey.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Peabody, can't you do anything right?" his teacher asked. "Everyone knows how to use a stapler--look at all these flat staples on the floor. Clean this up!"
"Peabody, I told you to clean your room. You've been daydreaming again, haven't you?" his mother fussed.
"Peabody can't ride a bike!" the neighborhood kids teased. "Peabody doesn't know anything, nyah, nyah, nyah."
Well of course none of that was true. Peabody was no different from everyone else. There was lots he was good at; it's just that it was hidden way inside, out of the view of most people most of the time. Inside, he created rich, complicated stories in his imagination. And far away from critical, prying eyes, he drew pictures to illustrate them. One day, he would publish his fabulous tales, and he'd show the whole world what he could do.
On top of that, as if there needed to be more, Peabody could swing. He was fearless and stretched himself completely horizontal, pulling himself straight up to heaven. The whistling wind and freedom from earthly troubles created a bubble of happiness all around him. He could feel it from the tip of his blood orange colored beak to his sunset toes.
This was by far the dumbest scheme ever, Polly thought to herself as she pedalled at a snail's pace towards the rocky crest with the mountain biking club. Well, she was technically behind the mountain biking club rather than with them--way behind. I mean, in order to meet people, you actually had to talk to them, right? So far, when they'd stopped for breaks, she'd sweated, gulped, panted, tried to look nonchalant, chugged water and limped around trying to ease her charley-horsed muscles, but she'd not met one person or been capable of saying a single coherent word.
Back again in the saddle, which she noted was getting mighty sore, she began to be afraid that it was possible to pedal so slowly as to roll backwards down the mountain. She distracted herself by recounting all her efforts to make friends since she moved to California: a sky-diving fashion show (the heels were a daring choice of footwear, but hadn't actually been a great idea on the landing), extreme beach bathing (you haven't lived until you've gotten raging sunburn wearing a thong--for a time, she achieved a certain notoriety as That Thong Girl, but she hadn't actually made a single friend for her pains,) then there was the Saturday she went skating at Venice Beach. She felt grateful that her scabs had finally gone away, even though her technician winced when Polly went to have her legs waxed.
She looked up to see whether the top of the hill was any closer and blinked. Was someone actually waiting for her up there? And could it be the best looking biker in the bunch...ho, boy, was he adorable! She forgot her aching legs and burned out lungs, her dry mouth and her empty, complaining stomach, sat up straighter and accelerated to caterpillar pace to meet him.
A bicycle built for one, was in Sunny's opinion, the most wonderful invention--two-wheeled freedom under the summer sun. Because, let's face it, the nest was crowded, and some days he just needed to get away.
Billie was always hungry and squawking. Their parents had to fly far and wide to find enough to feed him. Millie was a happy sib, but had a piercing giggle which drove a spike through Sunny's eardrums and interrupted his reading. Pierce just wanted him to play pick up sticks all day, pulling on his wing and pulling him away from the sculpture he was building in his head. He loved his family, but he lived for the day he could move out and make his own nest.
When it all got to be too much, he jumped on his bike. He found that if he pedalled fast enough, the white noise as he cut through the wind made a perfect Sunny-sized space.
Present, collage/acrylic, 6 x 6, Elizabeth W. Seaver Sold
Finally, on the third morning of shopping for it, Isadora found the perfect present for her friend Pilar for her birthday. It wasn't just an ordinary birthday present, one that would be played with a little while and then break or sit high on a shelf, forgotten. It was special. Isadora wanted it to say to Pilar what Isadora could not say out loud. She wanted the present to say thank you for hugging her when her kitty died and what fun they had when Pilar threw the surprise party for her and for the worm bisque Pilar made when Isadora got sick that time. It was hard to find a small token which expressed all those things and fit into a box, but she did! She wrapped it in paper and ribbon as beautiful as Pilar.
Crumbs were all that remained of the corn meal cake, and Pilar opened her gifts. The stack of gifts dwindled until one lovely pink box was left. Isadora sat breathlessly on her chair, hoping that when Pilar opened her gift, she would know all the warm feelings in Isadora's heart.
Pilar slowly untied the ribbon and draped it over her neck. She carefully pulled the tape off and placed the wrapping on a stack of paper to be reused throughout the year. "OH!" Pilar gasped when she finally removed the lid of the box and looked inside.
Even with a special mallet, how long would a bird's wings have to be to reach a ball from the back of a horse? Really long. A bicycle is the only answer. In fact, bicycle is the answer to many questions about birds if you only think about it. And I have thought about it--a lot!
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Please join us on Saturday from 10-5 at LibertyTown Arts Workshop for our Holiday Open House. Many artists will be in their studios to help you find just the right hand crafted thing for Aunt Mabel or little Sam. Perhaps a gift certificate?? Come by to shop, talk, drink apple cider and eat cookies with us on Saturday.
Marvin refused to wear regular clothes. They poked and pulled on his softest places, and he loved being comfortable above all things. He was a busy boy, and he didn't have time for the distraction of a pinchy waistband. Luckily, he'd been able to sneak away from the house before his mother saw him this morning and made him change his clothes.
He kept to the wooded paths where he had the best chance of escaping unnoticed. Then nosy neighbors might not see him as they flew over and call his mom to tattle on him.
His favorite pair of pajamas zipped up the front. Best of
all, they had the feet in them. Then, no bother of crouching down, getting red in the
face while he tried to remember how to tie his tennis shoes. "Rabbit ears in the hole...pah!" He was too busy to learn that--besides if he had his way, shoes would soon be completely unnecessary. Marvin was currently designing a whole line of pajama-inspired outerwear. He'd set aside this morning's ride to brainstorm baseball pajamas with cleats on the bottom.
"At the very least, there should be no tie shoes in the world, only slip-on ones." Marvin dreamed. "Flip-flops. I wish I could meet the person who invented flip-flops. What a genius!"
Oops!, collage/acrylic, 6 x 6, Elizabeth W. Seaver
There comes a time in most parties when a little too much fun flies around the place. This time, poor Rachel got in its way. No one meant for her to wear a cupcake, but it happened, and once the shock wore off, everyone sped away laughing, leaving Rachel with icing dripping down her forehead.
How do you handle such a socially embarrassing moment? Do you stomp your prehistoric dinosaur feet and flounce home in a storm of plumage? Do you laugh with everyone else and find a sink to stick your head in? Or do you act cool and nonchalantly eat the cupcake off of your own head, acting like that's what you meant to happen?
It was the best job ever. Floyd and Fred and Erma and Amy sat every Monday morning on the Boynton's clothesline, making sure the Boyntons' Saturday night, whoop-dee-do, go-to-town, hoe-down clothes dried nicely, all ready for the following weekend. Mrs. Boynton paid them in as much birdseed as they could carry away in their plump, late summer bellies.
Now, Sunday night is the birds' whoop-dee-do, go-to-town hoe-down, so every Monday morning, there was plenty of fodder for the rumor mill. The latest was that Alfred Jay made a terrible fool of himself over Miriam Cardinal, and her a married woman. Tinker Jay let Alfred know just how far off base he was in the Peck-n-Paw parking lot. And then, Penelope Peacock looked upon the persimmon wine while it was orange, grabbing the microphone from the band. Her rendition of Feelings cleared the joint. The party continued outside. The paper-rock-scissors loser had to go back in for the next round. The owner of the Peck-n-Paw banned her from coming back for two weeks.
The weather turned out lovely, but the winds blew something fierce overnight. Mildred, Philbert and Auntie Prudence had a frantic time keeping little Orin safe. In hindsight, perhaps it wasn't the best idea to have built the nest in a pocket of a dress hung on a clothesline, but while nest shopping, Phil and Mil had watched the garment for a week and no one ever came back to take it down. There it hung, a haven in soft rosy pink. It seemed the perfect place to lay the egg of their one chick.
Mildred fussed at Auntie Prudence, "You are the one who is supposed to keep us from doing something dumb!"
Prudence grumbled around the clothes pin in her mouth, "I knew it would end up being my fault."
"What was that?" Mildred asked suspiciously.
"I'm not the one who laid an egg in a pocket," Prudie replied waspishly when she had gotten one side of the dress fixed back on the line, "What is wrong with the time honored twig nest in the tree, I'd like to know? And may I get some help here? Honestly, what would you all do without me?"
Phil cleared his throat, "Well, obviously, Prudie, we'd be at the end of our rope."
A clothesline can be a danger to avoid depending on your height, and then it becomes a verb instead of a noun. I leave you to draw your own picture of that. It is best known as a noun--a convenient place to hang freshly washed clothing.
On his way to school the other day, poor Egbert found himself in a curious clothesline incident, ending up hung out to dry.
Rupert bored easily. When he had whined for as long as his mother would allow and done all the resultant chores (picking down out of the nest, gathering bugs for supper, washing the windows) she kicked him out into the world to find somewhere you won't get into trouble!
Some place where I won't get into trouble, Rupert thought. Well, that doesn't sound like much fun. So, he grabbed a branch, swinging slowly back and forth and thought about it.
Julia liked nothing better than to sit by the river and paint the lovely summer greens of the trees and sky tinged water. She always wore her green beret and artist's smock, the universally acknowledged uniform of her profession.
Today she wandered farther than usual, hauling all her gear. The ordinary wouldn't do for a Wednesday. No, today, she wanted to capture something special on her canvas. She walked about a mile along the uneven grassy slope on the left bank. Then, she saw it, the perfect subject for her painting--a rare pink, yellow and purple Virginia elm. She'd heard there was one here somewhere. Best of all, it had yet to drop its music notes for the season.
Julia plopped down on a rock to paint en plein air. As who wouldn't in such a situation.
Drinks and laughter were two essentials to a successful party, and more of one, usually means an increase in the other, Althea knew from past experience. So she knew it was a mistake to have daiquiris at Naomi's christening, but Herbert insisted that his family would be expecting some sort of libation that didn't just sit there in the glass providing no pop and sizzle for the party. She tried to water the drinks, but Herbert caught her and put Uncle Charles in charge of the bar. "That's done it," Althea thought. The last time Charles poured, Althea woke up to ten extra full-grown ostriches sleeping it off in her nest.