By Arthur H. Gunther III
This morning I will take a car ride with Anna, and we will have conversation. Never sure where those mutual talks lead, as I draw from a stream of consciousness and the partner usually does the same. That means you are in the current, and it can be fast-moving, it can swirl into a placid pond and linger a bit, it can go over rocks, even waterfalls, and lead to lakes, even an ocean. Much like relationships.
Anna and I are riding past Bear Mt., a famous part of a lower Hudson River Valley range and site of the nearly 100-year-old Inn by the same name. I have had other conversations in this area, though not for decades, and the description already given about how both water and relationships proceed or stumble or end or diverge, as nature intended, fits. Somehow you never forget the journey.
My Anna, though I am not sure she is truly mine— it is an assumption never to her made though often done — is actually a painting, an acrylic on wood panel, 24 x 24, and we are headed for the members’ show at the Garrison Art Center, a fine gallery that is up Route 9D about five miles from Anthony’s Nose, the mountain that looks across the Hudson at its brother, Bear Mt.
Anna will no doubt be shy among better work from far better artists, but she’s in the room, and her friend is happy about that. Good enough.
Who is Anna? Maybe my conversation with her will tell me more in a discovery that leads you somewhere, even if to tributaries that are do not extend very far.
Anna began as color. I deliberately chose her green coat, or perhaps blouse, and her Red Irish lass’s hair. She stands against a background of yellow ochre and similar color mixed and applied to show the stain of the wood, far preferable to me than canvas. She might even be in a wood somewhere.
Her expression came last, for that is her soul, and we humans only know that in exquisite moments, if we ever see the individual soul at all. I drew her sharp nose, mouth and chin first, guided by intuition, which for me is the ever-deeper well of prior observation. I have seen such line before. When her eye was painted, and the rouge of Anna’s face applied, she was there.
I like her. I may even love Anna, not as an art piece, for it may not be that at all, but for the feeling.
Off to our car ride now. Who knows where our conversation will lead?
The writer is a retired newspaperman who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org This essay may be reproduced.