Monday, May 9, 2016

"Spring Arrival - Sandhill Crane"

Quite unlike the battered artwork in this morning's wordless post, this painting of a sandhill crane hangs on the dividing wall between my room and the kitchen. It is one of the first things you  see when you enter the apartment. 

It was done by a friend from the Dells, Ellen McGaughey. Although she does other things and works in other media, most of what I know are paintings depicting wildlife or the natural beauty of our area. We saw the crane at an exhibit of her work in Portage three years ago and immediately purchased it. It is unusual for our collection for a few reasons. 

One, it was not a Scharbach creation. Most of the original art in the apartment is Tom's work, but we also have a self-portrait son Peter did in his teens. That hangs in my study. Tom's father was a graphics designer, and a piece he did of a pile of lobster pots hangs near Ellen's crane where it also catches your eye from the door to the apartment.

Two, it is relatively small at eleven by seventeen inches. Tom's things are all three feet by four feet or so.

Three, it is one of the few representational works. Even the lobster pots are print-like

Altogether, it provides a nice counterpoint to Tom's large abstracts and monochromatic portraits. And because there are so many sandhill cranes near where we lived on the old Scharbach property, it is a nice reminder of our decade there. Not long after we moved here, we drove into Madison for the day. A huge flock of sandhill cranes was circling high in the air over the city, trying to decide which of the many lakes and ponds to visit.
Today we expect Ellen and her husband Mark, whom we also know from a variety of shared interests and activities in the Dells, to visit to see the apartment and to go to lunch. So I guess they are going to be the spring arrivals.

Mark and Ellen are former Madison residents. He worked for the State of Wisconsin Employee Trust Fund until he retired and they moved to the Dells.

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