Monday, February 6, 2012

Picnic House


Picnic House 
9"X5" acrylic on Paper

I was born in the Bronx, NY in 1950.  By 1955 everyone was making plans to get out of there.
The Cross Bronx Expressway was then a huge trench that was being cut into the end of my street. Bryant Avenue was made into a dead end, with us on the wrong side of it.
There were many problems in the Bronx, but all of it was of little concern to me, I loved it. I played on the sidewalks, rollerskated and went to the Bronx Zoo, all the time.
If you did want to leave, you had two choices; go to NJ or Long Island. My parents chose NJ and we moved to Winfield Park in 1957.
Winfield was a conveniently located community, within computing distance to Manhattan for my Dad. My parents did not want to lose their NYC connections, family and friends, etc..
I started to enjoy this new place. It had a woods and a river that nearly surrounded the town. This wooded area was all County property. During the WPA era they had built ball fields, parks, bridges and dams (waterfalls), and these picnic houses, throughout the system. Winfield had two picnic houses and waterfall.
My two paintings are of the same picnic house that still stands, next to a little-league baseball field that is gone. Most kids in town spent some time in and around these structures. Teenagers found them an ideal dry place to hang out, just far enough way from adults.

Carved Beech (Picnic House)
9"x5" Acrylic on Paper

Both of the paintings are gifts.
The first painting is actually payment for an Astrology chart that my friend Forest M. did for me in 1971. He did a great job on the chart and I never got to return the favor till now.

The second painting is for my friend Leo L.  Leo's nickname then was "Buddy" and it is his named carved into that tree, though long grown over, I was still able to see it and then enhance it. He was one of the older guys in the neighborhood and was also my summer camp councilor one year. In High School, Leo was really big, 6'8". He was an excellent guy to have as a friend... especially if there was any trouble.

3 comments:

Bob Bushell said...

A beautiful time, the story, and the lovely paintings.

Jane said...

A piece of history :-) Two beautiful paintings and wonderful gifts.

Momo Luna said...

Beautiful, great light in both paintings. wonderful gifts....