Thursday, June 12, 2008

Art&Sun Days -- A Serendipitous Day - Part I

Serendipity: When you unexpectedly discover something wonderful when on the way toward something else.

On Tuesday morning, Linda and I prepared to make the airport run for Karen's flight. The traffic was light and, as we drove through the area where we would eat that night at their favorite Greek Restaurant, Linda casually remarked that she had been told of a great little shop nearby, but had not located. There was the sign and there was a SALE going on with racks of goodies on the sidewalk. Serendipity!

We checked the time - enough! - and parked the car. It's amazing how much can be accomplished in such a few minutes. We filled several bags. I wonder what would happen if we acted that quickly in the studio. Could we fill several canvases with such delightful textures, sparkling colors and cool designs? Interesting thought. . . .

We hurried to the airport where Karen waited -- who would think her plane would be EARLY!?! That afternoon, we were able to find Karen's old house, make three unplanned stops where we discovered Dorothy, the Chronicler and the Bronze Man, and get to the restaurant where the waiter -- not-so-politely -- said, "No! you don't want the soup!" He finally seemed pleased with our selections and so were we. It was the proverbial perfect ending to a Serendipitous Day.

Keep Dancing, Dorothy

The sun was a white hot glare on the street when we parked at the Maitland Center for the Arts. We weren't sure we wanted to brave the heat for what seemed a boring little tour of Old Florida. We gently refused entry to the current exhibition, choosing instead to wander the grounds in hopes of uncovering the mystique of Maitland and the old artist colony. (Would the spirit still be there?)

Each of us paused just inside the compound as we passed through the opening in the white block wall with its cement carvings. The sun was captured by the trees, moss and foliage and, in the dappled shade, seemed only like the crisp white edging of a summer dress. Each of us was taken with the notion that here, in any one of these funny little white stucco houses, we could happily spend time and create marvelous things beyond anything we now dreamed.

We wondered if artists still come to this place (they do.) We began to move through the gardens -- together, yet separately -- peering in windows, checking the foliage, wondering about this place, and yes, catching a whiff of cigar smoke -- a sure sign to some that the creator of this fantasy is still here. We did not know the story of the old Research Studio, but we felt the vision of its creator Jules André Smith (1889-1959) through his carvings, his architecture and his courtyards. (Should we have known? Should we have planned more? Would it be better if we had come with preconceived notions? I hope not.)

And then we saw Dorothy's brightly painted pieces of metal shifting with the touch of the breeze. Her swirls of color shimmered in the shade, hung dizzily from tall trees, winked through the landscape, and floated in the koi pond. Dorothy Gillespie (b. 1920 - ) would be speaking about her installation at the Maitland later in the week. We did not plan to attend.

For us, finding the energy of Dorothy dancing with the spirit of André in these intimate gardens was, unexpectedly, enough.

Indeed, it was a serendipitous day!

Art&Sun Days
BushStrokes (c) AAB


Martha Marshall said...

Wow, Dorothy Gillespie! Who knew?? Wonderful setting for her sunny happy metal works.

I still feel cheated out of this part of your adventures.

Annette Bush said...

Yes. Dorothy's work was so-o-o cool and perfect for this place. We wish you could have been with us all week, too. It was a treat which could only be enjoyed with other artists!