Sunday, February 5, 2017

The View from Sperry Chalet

Painting the View From Sperry Chalet (photo by Marnie Fender)

The following day I opted to stay close to Sperry Chalet. In the morning I worked on my large watercolor painting of the view from Sperry Chalet. This photo was taken by Marnie Fender, a charming lady and fellow painter who was staying overnight with the Glacier Guides group. Thank you, Marnie! I love this photo, it's my favorite of all the ones taken at Sperry. For me, this photo tells the story of the unexpected fulfillment of a childhood fantasy I constructed when I was about eight or nine: my alter ego Maria Elena lived in the Swiss Alps and tended a herd of goats when she wasn't in school...

At that age I set out to make one drawing for every day of the year representing the daily life of my alter ego--producing 365 color pencil drawings was my goal. For the next few years I worked on this self-imposed project in my free time. I credit this with the development of my artistic abilities. By the time I left Cuba at age thirteen, I had piled up nearly one hundred and twenty drawings which show the natural development of a child learning to draw the world around her, learning the use of perspective, proportions and color to give an impression of the three-dimensional world. I also learned a great deal about Switzerland, geography, culture, and how to research subjects using our family encyclopedia.

My mother valued this record of my artistic development so much that she gave up some of the limited space in her suitcase to pack my drawings to bring when she left Cuba. I still have them today.

For most of us, our childhood fantasies hardly ever become reality--nor are most fantasies ever intended to become real. I had never thought that my childhood fantasy could ever come true, so for me to finally be able to actualize a semblance of it some sixty years later is still hard to believe, and an unexpected joy! Thank you, Kevin, for the marvelous opportunity to make my dream come true.

The View from Sperry Chalet, watercolor, 15" x 22".

I hadn't finished this painting at the end of my stay--a few of the trees in the foreground weren't quite done--but it was far along enough that I could finish it later, after I got home. I think the painting gives a good impression of the dizzying heights and crags, the expanse of forest, lake and mountains, of all the beauty that can be seen from Sperry Chalet on a clear summer morning.

1 comment:

herbork.com said...

One of the best entries because most personal. Even I had not know the entire story of Maria Elena and the enormous amount of focused work you did, as you say, teaching yourself the basics of drawing. This is going to make such a charming and useful and attractive book someday!