Monday, July 19, 2010

True Nature's Child -- SOLD


This past Friday evening, my husband & I were traveling north on the NY State Thruway. Besides the weather (which was horribly hot & humid), the day had been a rather disturbing one. I had listened to someone at work talk about how their selfish daughter was complaining that the designer dress she wore previously could not possibly be worn again - and the mother whining to us how these dresses cost in the hundreds, and she isn't going to be able to remodel her kitchen the way she wants because her daughter is just so demanding. And then, on the way home, I got to listen to a 19 year old scream at everyone on the bus about how she doesn't have to wait on line like everyone else and that she can do whatever she pleases "and there ain't nuttin' nobody can do 'bout it" -- of course, she added lots of colorful adjectives to her proper english! (LOL). Once I got home, we packed the car & started our journey north.

We stopped about halfway to our destination for a stretch & some coffee (it was about 11pm by now). As we walked back to our car I noticed a young couple standing in the parking lot with a sign. It said "Out Of Gas." My husband & I chuckled (having been in the same position many times when we were young) and walked over to them. We gave them a small amount & told them it wasn't much, but it would help a bit. The girl said "thank you brother" and the boy commented that he thought he would get to be us one day, doing the same for someone else. Then we said to "pay it forward" and they said they would most definitely. Then they wished us peace, and I looked down and saw that the girl was barefoot.

Lot's of memories came back to me suddenly, of a time on the NY state thruway (some 40 years ago) when everyone was heading to a "gathering" on a farm to listen to some great music - and I finally smiled at the end of my long day. After listening all day to the self-centered, I met 2 hippies - and suddenly the world seemed a better place.

When we got back into the car & started it, I heard a classic song by Steppenwolf - Born to be Wild playing on the radio. And I remembered being 17, and being young, and free -- and barefoot (and yes, our feet did get dirty!). So this is my submission for the Calypso Moon Artists challenge for Freedom.

Hope you enjoy! Oh and yes, love & peace to you all.

Acrylic on 9x12 canvas

18 comments:

Bonnie Heather said...

Lol. Great post. Love and peace to you too.

Elizabeth Seaver said...

Great post. Dirty feet mean something!

AutumnLeaves said...

My gosh, Nancie. Best post ever. You made me smile and think back on an important era in our history. A time that was nerve-wracking for my young parents and exciting in my memories. Love the Steppenwolf song and it is now flowing through my brain...perfect for this barefoot painting with the ankle bracelet that was actually ahead of its time!

Carol Horzempa said...

Thanks for sharing your story about the young couple out of gas and the bare feet...great painting representing being free!

Dabblerteer said...

Great story!
Terrific painting!

Paula; The Parent Trapped said...

Nancie, I love the colors you used in this painting. To me the yellow pants seems sunny and cheerful, despite the dirty barefeet. The green is a life color surrounding the traveling feet. The forward motion of the feet seems to be leading the person away from the brighter "known" into the darker "unknown" of the future. Ooh, I just love symbolism. I love your story, too. Sometimes the worst days can be turned around in the oddest ways. I once bought some milk for a desperate mother and my crappy day suddenly seemed OK. God's little miracles, I guess!

Priti said...

great post Nancie and awesome painting to go with it. Love the colors!!

martinealison said...

L'ensemble texte et peinture ne font qu'un... GENEROSITE.
Très belle histoire et simplicité de la vie... traduit à merveille sur cette peinture. j'aime, j'adore, bravo!

Angela said...

Isn't it funny how soon we forget our days of carefree youth. I really was touched by this painting and words. Sobering. In a world filled with selfish people God placed a few jewels to make us smile. Thanks.

Nancie Johnson said...

Thank you everyone. It's amazing how many were touched by this story/painting. But then again, I am not the only "old hippie" left in the world, am I? LOL

I wonder if those 2 young kids have any idea what an impact their "Out of Gas" had on the lives of others. I would say they repaid that money donation a hundredfold, wouldn't you?

Dancing Brush by Cheri said...

Thank you for sharing such an inspirational story with your great painting. Very touching and yes, I remember going barefoot too. Loved this post!

Earthula said...

The greens and ochre orange yellow combination is a great representation of the lightness of freedom.
The movement of walking, the left foot firmly planted, the right foot dirty and on the toes, is the open connection to the earth.

(Is it really 4o years of born to be wild?)
Here's to taking off one's shoes! ou, ah ouch..

Nancie Johnson said...

Thank you Cheri, so glad you enjoyed the story & painting.

Earthula, I love the interpretations of my colors & symbols. Paula did the same thing. It goes with my belief that everything has meaning and everything contributes.

And yes, Born to be Wild (the song) came out in 1968 and was used in the movie Easy Rider which came out in 1969. The movie, and the song, struck a nerve in the soul of many an impressionable youth - I was one of them, and I just knew I had to be a free spirit of the time (without my shoes, LOL).

Woodstock, the music festival, occured in August 1969. Held on the farm of Max Yasgur in Bethel NY - it was (what I believe) one of the most influencal (and instrumental) events of that decade & in all of American history.

And yes, all 3 occured a little over 40 years ago (time marches on, don't it?)

Barbara said...

A fun and memory-provoking post, Nancy. The subject of your painting is very interesting; clearly our imaginations are being stretched. I think the bottoms of feet are so interesting - so tough and yet so vulnerable, I suppose because they are our primary point of contact with the world. Your colors and textures work well here.

SYLVIANE said...

Congratulations for your post, Nancie,it was breathtaking!

Alice Thompson said...

I love the warmth and mix of Saffron Orange and Yellow in this piece. The heat draped around the legs make me see ashes at the bottom of the feet where the fire meets the coolness of the grass. Nice movement and balance. Thank you for giving us such a intimate glimpse. Your story is beautifully written.

Sally Evans said...

More green! I showed this challenge to my partner and he loved yours, I think he felt the same way about freedom. Barefoot and carefree. The thought of being out of gas and relying on other peoples kindness scares me! But it is so lovely to know that there is kindness in strangers.

Victoria said...

Love it! By the way....my feet still get that dirty! You are never to old to live carefree!
Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story!

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