visual artist

Filtering by Tag: American holidays

Happy Groundhog's Day!

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

In 1921 Robert Frost published his poem "A Drumlin Woodchuck."  

A Drumlin Woodchuck


One thing has a shelving bank,

Another a rotting plank,

To give it cosier skies

And make up for its lack of size.  


My own strategic retreat

Is where two rocks meet,

And still more secure and snug,

A two-door burrow I dug.


With those in mind at my back

I can sit forth exposed to attack

As one who shrewdly pretends

That he and the world are friends.


All we who prefer to live,

Have a little whistle to give,

And flash, at the least alarm

We dive down under the farm.


We allow some time for guile

And don't come out for a while 

Either to eat or drink

We take occasion to think.


And if after the hunt goes past

And the double-barreled blast

(Like war and pestilence

And the loss of common sense),


If I can with confidence say

That still for another day,

Or even another year,

I will be there for you, my dear,


t will be because though small

As measured against All,

I have been so instinctively thorough

About my crevice and burrow.


Robert Frost  1874 - 1963



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Thoughts on an Annual Tradition

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

It's almost Halloween and so it's time for the annual "guess how much this pumpkin weighs" contests.  You find them all over the country - in stores and farmers' markets and parking lots.  Sometimes it's just a large pumpkin sitting in the back of a pickup truck.  This one, like so many enormous pumpkins, seems to have almost collapsed under its own weight.  I wonder if this is the one that cartoon character Charlie Brown is always waiting for - The Great Pumpkin!  Wait a minute!  I think that Cinderella didn't make it home on time and the glitzy golden coach was turned back into a splendid and real orange pumpkin.  A pumpkin like this one will make many pies and custards and make many people happy. 


The Artist and Her Family on a Fourth of July Picnic

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

   This painting by Lilly Martin Spencer can be seen at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.  It was painted around the year 1864 and depicts a scene of relaxation, frivolity, and enjoyment as friends and family gather to celebrate Independence Day. 

   At the center of the picture is the artist's husband, Benjamin.   Apparently his weight has been too much for the tree swing and he lies on the ground.  The artist depicts herself with arms outstretched going to his aid.  A child is trying to help him. 

There are at least two people in this painting who appear to be African-American.  While one of them is dispensing a refreshment of some sort, the other appears to be enjoying the day's festivitivies.   The painting is oil on canvas and measures 49 1/2" x 63."