Screened Porch
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18” x 27”, acrylic on board, 2002
This painting embodies so many memories that it verges on nostalgia overload. Our dog, Smallwood, is the center of interest. He was mostly Labrador retriever, but his grandmother was a Newfoundland, so he was big - 110 lbs. We got him as a puppy, and he grew up with our children. The memories of Smallwood are the memories of my young family. Of course, he was always my companion on daily walks. His nose and ears drew my attention to many aspects of nature I would have overlooked. His enthusiasm and devotion were boundless. Obviously, he always wanted to be with us; we were his pack. It therefore seemed as though if he were inside he wanted to be out, if he were outside he wanted in. Someone defined a door as something a dog is always on the wrong side of . . . in his opinion.
The setting is our summer cottage which we purchased in 1946. My dad painstakingly laid those flagstones behind Smallwood. He also made the brown box inside the porch for the children to keep their toys in. My mother planted the cedars just outside. Their dancing shadows on the screens conjure up warm summer mornings. I can almost hear the shouts and screams of glee and the riotous splashing as another day of fun at the lake opened its embracing arms.