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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

THE KINGDOM OF THE HAPPY LAND

I decided to take Vicki Lane up on her suggestion and print a "work in progress" of the "Kingdom of the Happy Land." It has a good way to go, and I may change my mind about a bunch of things and simply paint entire sections out and start over.(That is the nice thing about acrylics.) The dress of the king and queen is based on the rumor that several members of the Kingdom had childhood memories of Africa, and as a consequence, launched an effort to recreate life as they remembered it in an African village. Since it existed for about forty years (1865-1905), the kingdom was a kind of agriculture commune that bartered their crops in markets throughout the region. I'll add more as it seems appropriate to do so. Click on the painting for an enlargement!)

15 comments:

  1. I LOVE IT!!! The tidy fields, the charming king and queen, (Did you know that in some part of Africa, 'hold leg' is courtship behavior? -- I read that in a National Geographic about forty years ago), the vegetable bounty, the iconic sun, and the lunatic expression on the cows' faces. BRAVO!!!

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  2. There is actually a "hold leg" ritual? I thought my graduating class originated that practice on our trip to Washington in a dark Trailways bus.

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  3. Gary,
    Looking good. Will be great with article.
    Looking forward to seeing finished product.
    Ben F. Eller

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  4. This is easily one of my very favorites of your paintings...the colors are incredible, and the place looks so inviting (HAPPY!) that I would like to have lived there...it sure doesn't look unfinished to me!
    Mary

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  5. Thank you, dear.
    It has those undefined and very white people walking down the road, and the Queen's blouse needs some brass buttons. I think it needs more melons, corn, apples, etc. It is getting there.

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  6. That is really some fine work! I love the way you can capture a feeling in your paintings.

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  7. Yes, they look very content in their happy land. This is a feel good painting. Makes me long for a lost Eden. The hold leg ceremony huh? Interesting. The only person I ever saw do anything like that was when Harpo Marx would invade people's space and put his leg in their hand. Oddly enough it makes sense in this context- an overly intimate gesture that people recoiled from.

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  8. ah Garu, well, if you do decide to paint sections out, for god's sake leave that cow holding the daisy in her mouth looking fetching like some Spanish senorita. That is a very special cow. And the chickens. Don't for anything paint those chickens out. You do real good chickens and I think they are very happy. Paint out the King and Queen if you have to, but leave that cow and those chickens alone.

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  9. Wonderful, Gary. Thanks so much for sharing this! I look forward to seeing more of your vision.

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  10. estaminet,
    I would most pleased if you would become a "follower" of my blog.

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  11. Hi Gary, I loved your story of "The Happy Land", and the painting it inspired! It was such a pleasure to meet you at the Writer's picnic. I finally found your post about the picnic late one night. When I returned to comment, it was gone. I hope you got my emails thanking you for mentioning me and the piece I read. I have joined your followers, and will look forward to seeing you again at the meetings. Cynthia Fleetwood
    P.S. I haven't done anyting as yet with my Blog.

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  12. Muser!
    I was hoping you might show up. Please stick around. Let me know when your blog is up and running.

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