Thursday, June 17, 2010

An Island in the Night......

For many people country living is a remote idea, literally.  I have actually met people who regard it as being in some kind of painful exile and I've been asked more than once: "I mean, what the hell does a body do out there?"  Seriously, they simply cannot imagine how country folks deal with the isolation and the lack of access to malls, theaters, restaurants...and all the amusements that are central to their lifestyle in suburbia or the city.  My daughter once asked, "Why would anybody want to go to Maine?" But, then she thinks Disneyland is just one stop short of paradise, so that isn't too surprising.

I have--with a few brief exceptions--always lived out here.  If I can't step outside at night and look up at a deep blue sky, with stars sparkling like diamonds, and take a leak out by my mailbox, I feel cloistered.  I need the feeling of being closer to the natural world and further from the world of freeways, malls and orange-ish  street-lights that make the sky look dimmer and the whole neighborhood glow in an unearthly way.

As anybody who lives in the country can tell you, the hub of the community is often a small, family-owned and run store, yes, just like the one pictured above.  As we were driving past the Northeast Bay Market, in Penobscot, Maine, I glimpsed this scene and my foot automatically went for the brakes.  I backed-up--without a problem due to the fact that there was not another car anywhere to be seen--and parked, then took a series of pictures with my wee pocket camera.  And, on returning home, I couldn't wait to set the image to paint.

For me, this night-time scene is the quintessence of country living.  The store is an island of light in an otherwise inky dark night and one person who saw the painting commented that they felt sure there was a smile and a 'howdy' waiting for anybody who walked in. And, I have no doubt they are right.

BTW: The plain white circle on the blue light over the pumps is actually what was there. I didn't genericize it, or change it at all.  I almost titled the painting:  "Full Moon Over Island", but I resisted.


Teresa Evangeline said...

I love how you render night skies. And, I love country stores. Whenever I see one in my travels, I stop and pick up a few things. There's a nice feeling in your painting, Murad.

Painting the Light said...

I intended to comment on this when you first put it up, but I got sidetracked and forgot. Loved the photo when you first posted it, love the painting even more! It's so small-town. So Maine. So...I can't explain it. It's some kind of nostalgia thing that takes me back to childhood...back to the days of those old soda coolers where you lifted up the top and the soda was sitting in refrigerated water, and there was a bottle opener on the front of the cooler, and you could buy Bubble Up or Nehi strawberry, or...yes. Just like that.