Painting with Lenny

Hello again dear friends! When I was driving my mother to the airport yesterday, we passed by this charming wooded glen that framed a pond… there was this narrow dirt road that meandered into the distance… actually it was an Interstate; but I imagined that it was a country lane. There was a cheerful white clapboard house with a small dock that edged into the pond.  The birds were chirping, and you could hear the rustle of squirrels and chipmunks scampering in the undergrowth.  Well, we couldn’t really hear anything because our windows were rolled up and I drove by too fast! Mother was worried about missing her flight back to Minneapolis!  Hah, hah, hah!

So you know what I’m thinking?  You’re right!  That wooded glen would be a perfect subject for our painting today!  So let’s get started shall we? Let’s prep our palette with the colors we’ll need.  I love doing this!  We’ll need reliable Burnt Umber and Raw Sienna!  Do you remember those colors?  When I was a little boy, when friends came over to play, my Mother made me share my crayons… I would give my friends Burnt Umber and Raw Sienna to use and I kept the good colors to myself!

OK, what else?  Hmmmm. A little Prussian Blue, a touch of Cerulean, some Cadmium Red… don’t you love saying Cadmium Red? Cadmium Yellow and now a dab of Yellow Ochre.  Next Viridian, Cobalt Violet… oh sure, English Light Green, Emerald.  Some Black and of course White.  Must have White!  Don’t you love the way White looks like a Carvel Vanilla ice cream cone without the cone?  I’m putting on extra white!  Sometimes I just wish I had a bigger palette!

Next… a bottle of Tanqueray Gin, a bottle of Noilly Pratt Dry Vermouth and the necessary accoutrements!

Alrighty then… let’s put the gin and a wee bit of vermouth into this handsome glass pitcher, fill it with ice.  Let’s stir enthusiastically, and say together, You who know all, thank you for providing us essence of juniper and the other obscure botanicals responsible for creating this sacred liquid! OK, let’s strain carefully into a generously sized pre-frozen Martini glass… don’t spill any onto the palette!  Don’t won’t any to go to waste! And for a finishing touch, lemon twist, stuffed olives or Gibson onions?  Today, I think it’s three of these plump olives!  Let’s impale the olives on this little plastic sword.  There… I like to imagine that I am the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim giving it to the Franco-Bavarian Army!

Let’s take a sip! Hmmmmmmmmm, how dry it is… boy that’s good!  OK, time to paint!!

Let’s take some Cerulean, a little bit of our glorious White and an eentsy-weensty Cadmium Yellow and blend them for our sky.  There… that looks about right… a little more white… better.  OK, let’s take our palette knife and coat the sky!  I love a palette knife… sometimes I use this to cut coconut cake with frosting!  Do you know why I like coconut cake with frosting?  Because the frosting looks like tiny mounds of white oil paint! One time the frosting looked so good that I decided to put some on my palette for a little snack while I paint; but that lead to an embarrassing incident… so I don’t do that any more!  Hah, hah, hah!

Time for some evergreens.  I think of them as the stately sentinels of the forest!  Let’s put them on this side, and why not? A few over here, too. After all this is a happy place.  And do you know what makes me happy?  Yes, a quick sip of my Martini, and now it’s time for a happy gingko tree!  Don’t you love to say gingko?  I do. Gingko! Gingko trees go back to the Jurassic Era.  Let’s put our gingko in its fall colorings.  We’ll mix Cadmium Yellow and a tad of Sienna to create a brilliant autumnal gold.  There!  You know what?  Let’s put a Stegosaurus by our gingko!  Let’s take some of our Burnt Umber and a little Raw Sienna and make a happy Stegosaur approaching the pond to have a drink. You don’t have to put a Stegosaurus in your painting. You can put in a Kentrosaurus in your painting if it makes you happy!  Remember, this is your painting!  I’m going to make my Stegosaurus even happier by putting some splashes of Cerulean and Cobalt Violet on his back plates!  There’s a happy fellow!

Over on this side of the pond let’s put a playful Rottweiler!  And?  He’s about to get a stick, and what’s this behind these low shrubs?  Why our spirited Rottweiler has stumbled upon Norma Fensky and that tool Jerry Sherman in flagrante delicto! And let’s just put a suggestion of under things over by this forsythia bush.  A push-up bra there and size 44 waist boxer shorts… there.  Perfect! Isn’t this special?

Painting sure is thirsty work… you know I think this Martini is a top five effort!  Clearly one of my best! And this is a superb olive… I like them on the firm side, don’t you?

OK… time to put in our friendly cottage.  I think it should go about here… but you can put your cottage where you want to.  Remember, this is your painting! I think I am going to put the front screen door hanging by one hinge… and let’s give the dock a wonderful weathered look like it’s in need of serious repair. And let’s put a small rowboat half on land, and half under the water. There… a nice homey touch that gives our painting an air of refreshing authenticity.

Let’s add that dusty lane curling into the distance now.  There.  Maybe you’ll want to add the owner of the cottage passed out under the rhododendron?  Or just walking away in handcuffs with a State Trooper? Remember… make this painting yours! I think I’ll leave this a deserted road and maybe just put some orange reflective tape that indicates that this area was a crime scene. There!  I think this composition is coming along beautifully, don’t you?

Do you know what Saul Bellow said about Martini’s?  One is not enough, and three are too many!  So before we put in some happy clouds, let’s quickly mix up another Martini. Ahhhhhhhhhh, another superior example of liquid art!

Right!  Time for some fun clouds!  I love clouds… don’t you?  Not the streaky kind… the puffy kind.  So let’s put a few here.  They remind me of plush marshmallow’s… or lovely frosting on coconut cake!  Hah, hah, hah.  Happy clouds… put them where you’d like.  And I think I am going to add a Delta 727 heading to Minneapolis over here. Uh-huh.  And why not put a tiny speck way over here next to this happy cloud?  Do you know what that is?  It’s a Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon armed with Sidewinder missiles!  Won’t Mother be surprised!

There! Oui, c’est fini! And ready for the Louvre! And thank you dear friends for painting with Lenny today!

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