Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy Holidays

Escape, ink on paper
It's that time of year.  I think of leaving until mid-January--a cruise might be nice (although there have been rough waters recently).

Evidently, escape has always been on my mind.  When I was four or five, I'd borrow Mom's high heels, get her pocketbook, and wait for the Greyhound bus to take me away.  Odd, isn't it, that my parents allowed me to play beside the highway?

When I get the stance right, this will be a painting.  Okay, maybe I'll work on my size, too--I'm taller than the Amoco sign!  For the drawing, I moved the King Edward Cigar sign (great for target-practice) across the road.

Happy Holidays.  I'll be working on cards, shopping, and minimal decorating (nothing stops me from drawing, though). 


  1. A wonderful start Hallie! Gives me comfort to know a pro like you has to start from here to get to there... because I've just spent two days getting a proportion correct.
    Times have changed. Kids don't even play in the neighborhood anymore.
    Happy Holidays to you as well.
    Oh- and I hope you are saving all the prep drawings-- I think it's good stuff. Loved the story.

  2. Hi Pam. Sometimes we get the proportion right and the "soul" of the drawing gets lost in the process. I've looked through the morguefile for a profile of a shy child, head down, arched back--haven't found one yet.

    The bus driver stopped one day (at Mom's request). I ran like h*ll and out of the high heels.

  3. Hi Hallie, Didn't lots of the great artists do little thinking sketches like this one? I'm thinking of some of Rembrandt's drawings, daVinci, etc. I found the floating off figures kind of fun and surreal. They sort of fit the idea to me. Funny that you thought to go take the Greyhound bus. Happy Holidays to you and have a nice escape!

  4. The 'wanting to leave' aspect of this drawing is reinforced with the largest torso leaning out of the frame. The halo falling off of her head is a nice touch.

    I know, I know, I'm being ornery...

    Actually, I really like the lonely, longing feel of your sketch. I can see how this will be a strong piece.

    The rural setting, the gas station, and the lonely figure looking away brings to my mind Edward Hopper's painting, "Gas". Not that it looks like it, but that it has a similar feeling.

    I'm excited to see more...


  5. what a great story, and what a fun drawing. The pose says it all... and the shoes that are a few sizes too big! I didnt even notice proportion details. Happy Holidays to you, Hallie.

  6. Hi Peggy. I began with the "floating off" figures. When I got to one that was close to right, I drew the landscape around her--I decided not to crop them out when I posted this. Greyhound was a way of traveling if you lived in rural southern Virginia.

    Don--you never miss anything. I noticed the "halo" only after I posted it (it might have been the first head). In my head the painting is rather Hopperesque--I guess it's the landscape plus one figure. That stretch of highway (now four lanes) has changed very little in 60 years.

    Hi Robin. I just realized that I have a figurine someplace in a shed that has the pose. I bought it because she was a redhead; maybe that's my model--I'll search. Happy Holidays.

  7. Clearly, wanting to get away did not involve being too big for your shoes.

  8. SamArtDog--good one. I've never been accused of being too big for my shoes--or my britches. I just always think "I'm outta here!" Of course, you can't get far without a plan or a goal.

  9. It's neat to see your design process ... I don't recall seeing one of your drawings before. Great concept, and one that I can identify with. Hope you manage a get away.
    Happy Holidays!

  10. Hi Kathy. I constantly draw and sketch (can't think without a pen or pencil)--usually they just go into a pile, not in a blog. To be honest I'm not a traveler--my favorite get-away is my workshop/studio. I get antsy when things (even good things) keep me out of there. Enjoy your Holidays.

  11. I like seeing your thought process...drawings to me are always as good as paintings. I can identify with your childhood (and I think we've "talked" about this before). When I was 6 & 7 years old I had the run of the entire town and when I realized no one would even notice if I was "missing" I did take the bus to the next town. I did that with regularity! Back in those days a little kid on their own was just not that bizarre of a sight. Mine was a city bus...not a greyhound bus, so there is the difference. I love that you paint these memories...I'll be waiting for the next phase.

  12. Luck with the holiday escape plan! This planned painting is going to be a lulu. I like the perspective of the long, straight road and noticed the too-big shoes before reading the story behind it. Your paintings are thought provoking and this one will be exceptionally so. My brother used to 'Run away to China' on a regular basis! He'd be back in an hour or two - usually in tears!

  13. You always make me smile Hallie. Thanks for sharing your great perspective on things. Have a great holiday but only run away in your mind, we need you back in the new year.

  14. Hi Celeste. I enjoy drawing memories; it's a lot like writing. Sometimes the drawings don't make it to the painting stage--or they change drastically. As a youngster, I spent more time in the woods (always liked being alone) than catching buses into town. Saturday was always "go to town" day.

    Hello MM. We didn't run away to China; we did try to dig our way to China; there were always deep holes in the yard. We used the dirt to make mud pies.

    Hi Margaret. I guess Christmas is the time for memories. I mostly remember the great Christmas mornings--when I was so surprised that Santa had somehow known just what I wanted, had gotten in (though we didn't have a fireplace), eaten his slice of fruitcake, drunk a Coke, and not made a sound.

  15. A great post, Liz. And so true. I'm an avid traveller myself, alays trying to leave myself behind. Trouble is, the first things everyone packs in their suitcase is themselves. I expect the image of the open road just speaks powerfully to nations of immigrants like the US and Australia.

    Yes, as a kid i used to disappear for the day on my scooter, miles from home. No one worried. But then, they seem to need to worry. I was always safe (well, nearly always). Is it that there are just more wierdos about nowadays? Or that society has become so anxious about everything/anything, thanks to the sensationalising media? Dunno.

    I also used to worry about Santa knowing everthing. I mean, when i'm sleeping, when i am awake. Given his physiogomy it felt less like an omnipresent deity and more like a perving old man!

    Sanata not withstanding, have a wonderful Christmas, Liz. Thank you for the interest youve shown in my painting and the visits youve made to my blog. I have certainly enjoyed the humanity and intelligence of your own postings here. Have a fun-filled and creative new year.

  16. Sorry, Hallie. I think i just called you Liz! never have a glass of red for lunch.

  17. Hi Harry. Well, Liz does sounds a lot like Hallie. I think the wish to escape is the wish to leave yourself behind. I've never been a great traveler. When I get to wherever, all I want to do is draw and read; I much prefer my workshop--no packing.

    Society is very anxious about everything. I remember when everyone smoked and rode without seatbelts and hitchhiked. I don't know if the world has gotten worse or news coverage is better.

    Have a wonderful holiday. When I think of you and your work, I think of the "stain" painting, and the remarkable ones of your family. Be well, Harry; I expect great stuff from you in 2011.

  18. hahaha "Liz sounds like Hallie"...now just for fun we should go to Harry's blog and call him Norm. haha.

  19. Love seeing the working of your creative mind and hearing about your memories. I guess all of us who are over a certain age have memories of a more innocent time when we lived with less fear. As for running away guess that too is the 'Tom Sawyer' in most children. I would pack up snacks (Vienna sausages and soda crackers) in a handkerchief and hide in the basement. My lifelong food supply would usually last an hour or so and by then I was so tired of waiting to be found and sick of sausages that I would give up. Only to find no one even missed me, but Mom would get upset about the food I took !

  20. Hi Eva. I guess we all think the pastures are greener elsewhere. We had the country store so I ate my share of viennas, peanuts in Cokes, beanie weenies, and candy. I still occasionally enjoy a can of viennas with vinegar and crackers (and I keep nabs in the car).

  21. Hallie, I was positive I left you a comment. At the risk of repeating myself, here goes. I especially like the way you work through you very original designs. I thought of you when I received my Watercolor Artist Magazine showing some of the winning pieces at the various art competitions. One was called "Foiled Again" and was a very uniquely done piece of a woman with foils in her hair (reminiscent of your woman under the Hoover dryer, though a different style).

    I believe were were allowed a lot more freedom than children today. Our parents trusted that we would not go in the road after they taught us the rules. I recalled how my three-year old son got frustrated at me and threatened to run away on the school bus that came by our house twice a day. A bad day for both of us, needless to say.

    Hoping you have a wonderful holiday and I so look forward to seeing your work in 2011.

  22. Hi Mary. I'll have to look for a copy of the magazine; there may be a "pool" of ideas that we all visit.

    The "running-away" idea is probably a good one; otherwise, we might live with our parents forever! (I guess parents would have to escape.)

    I look forward to your travels and work in the new year. What will Mary try next?