Words and pictures from the author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries
Saturday, January 12, 2008
The Battle of the Cosmos
The painting class that Elizabeth joins in Art's Blood is based on a weekly painting studio/class in Asheville that I attended for years (until the writing took away that bit of spare time). We were a diverse crew -- some very serious, very talented painters, some hobbyists, and everything in between. Some folks came in, went to work, and hardly ever spoke; others treated the 3 hour sessions as something of a cocktail party -- a chance to wander around and visit with others. Two members of that class , who I'll call Saralee and Martha, were ladies from my county -- charming older women whose down home accents and forthright observations were always a delight.
"You'd not credit how hard is is to get any of those women out there where I live to go do anything," said Saralee one day. "You ask 'em do they want to go to town and eat lunch and they bow up and say, 'Oh, I have to stay home and fix Roy his lunch.' Well, I just tell my man, he kin fix him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or he kin suck his thumb."
Once when I'd had to miss class, I called to talk to a friend who was another member. "You missed a good one," she said. "Saralee and Martha got into a big argument about the cosmos Martha was painting -- Saralee said Martha had it wrong."
"Cosmos? Martha's painting the cosmos?" I was staggered -- both ladies generally painted country scenes, barns and mountains and pastures and such. It was hard to imagine Martha dipping into speculative representation -- I pictured huge swirling purple and black abstract shapes.
"How did Saralee think a cosmos should look then?" I asked my friend.
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