Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Player


Acrylic on 9x12 canvas sheet
Available through DPW gallery/auction

This was done for Lee's A Day Not Wasted challenge - Lee always gives artists a great photo to work with. Had fun doing the shapes in this one!

When I was a young child, I begged to learn to play an instrument. I wanted to learn to play the piano. So my thoughtful parents took me to the Music Conservatory in our local town. They tested me to make sure I was not tone-deaf -- I was not. Then they asked what instrument I wanted to play, and I said piano. They said "no, your hands are too small." What else they asked, so I said "Guitar?" with a small little voice. Again, they said "no, your hands are too small." (I had, and still do have, very small hands - got them from my mom. Small hands and small feet). Anyway, they (the powers that be at the Music Conservatory) thought that I, with my small hands, could learn to play the accordion.

Now, I was maybe 40 pounds, soaking wet. And I stood maybe, 3 feet. Maybe. (small feet, small hands, and short - that was me). So they took out this sparkly, red accordion (that smelled very musty) and strapped it on my little body. I immediately fell over. They picked me up, sat me in a chair, and I proceeded to learn how to play the accordion.

I was never very good at it. I could not stand up with the thing on me - always fell over. Even sitting with the thing was difficult - and forget about lifting it out of the case. My parents had to help me every night to "attach" the thing to my body as I sat in the chair (feet not reaching the floor). And I practiced for 1 hour, every night, to learn to play this "slightly smaller than a piano" instrument. In my 1 year of musical instruction, I learned to play only 1 song "My Wild Irish Rose." Did I mention the little puppy we had would howl along with me as I played. Oh, what a pair we were!  If my parents were alive today, I would venture to say they would groan out loud if they heard that song now.

I laugh when I think back to those days, and have never regretted giving the instrument up! And for the life of me, I don't know why my hands were big enough to play this vertical piano that weighed more than me! But, to this day, I still can't walk past a piano without reaching out to touch those ivory keys - and can't help but wonder "what could have been" if they had only looked past the size of my hands & into my heart!

4 comments:

renate said...

hi Nan,

Nice close-up of the man playing the "piano". I like the painting without every small detail around it. Well done!
Renate.

conservativelybohemian said...

Awesome work, Nancie. Your story just lends such a richness to this piece for me. There is something about the dapperness of this gentleman that makes accordian playing even look cool. I find myself wondering why they didn't have you learn violin...

labrown said...

Nice painting and fun story Nan!

Virginia Floyd said...

I love the limited palette in this one. Great background! Really wonderful job. I loved hearing your story about learning to play the accordion. I learned to play the clarinet, but I too I always wished could have learned to play the piano. I've always laughed that no one ever asks you to play your clarinet at a party.

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