20 March 2009

Fred

8x10 oil on canvas
When we enter our home, we remove our outdoor shoes. Inspired by Japanese custom, this is the first line of defense against household toxins. When I enter my studio, I change my shoes and put on an old cardigan. The fraying, paint covered sweater is more Kurt Cobain than Fred Rogers, but I often think about dear Fred when I perform this ritual.

Today is Mr. Rogers' birthday. I live pretty close to his neighborhood. He was a lovely man whom I hold in high esteem. I like him just for being him.

I never fail to be moved by this clip of Fred Rogers speaking before the Senate in 1969.

13 comments:

Jala Pfaff said...

"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood..." And this is an AWESOME painting!!!

Dar Presto said...

Thanks Jala! Won't you be my neighbor?

Connie said...

Love this - not only a wonderful painting, but charming as well.

Dianne Mize said...

Love your sneakers! And I always loved Mr. Rogers, too.

Dar Presto said...

Connie, thank you. While painting, I was hoping they would become anthropomorphic, without really knowing how to achieve that.

Dianne, thanks. Yep, Mr. Rogers is right up there with Gandhi and Mother Theresa.

Sheila Vaughan said...

Dar, I am totally fascinated by the Fred Rogers theme. I shall probably be shot for saying so - but who is Fred Rogers? Well I am deaf so I can't hear the YouTube audio but I must say being deaf really tunes you in to non-verbal communication and Mr. Rogers has some of that in nicey bucketfuls. Yes, I like him, though I can't hear him and don't know who he is. Nor do I understand why your sneakers remind you of him but I really love the painting Dar. Byee for now.

Dar Presto said...

No problem Sheila, I'm all too happy to spread Fred's goodwill. I wasn't sure if Mr. Rogers made it to the UK. He hosted a children's program on public television for decades, and his greatest desire was "to make feelings mentionable and manageable." He addressed children's everyday concerns with the utmost care and validation. He started each show by changing into sneakers and a cardigan.
When he went to the Senate to ask for funding, he won the heart of a grouchy old senator, and the funding. Some time after outgrowing Mr. Rogers, I discovered Blackadder!

Laurel Daniel said...

These are PERFECT! I also love Mr. Rogers... he was such a gentle soul.

Dar Presto said...

Laurel, that is so nice to hear. I seem to have forgotten how to paint (again), so your compliment gave me a nice lift.

http://www.onpainting.wordpress.com said...

These are wonderful, Dar.

There is something peaceful about his routine.

Ann Reyes said...

Dar, I love this painting! I, also loved Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and I watched it with my boys. I, also, gave both my boys the book about Mr. Rogers.

Dar Presto said...

Thanks Bill. Yeah, it's very comforting to don a cozy sweater.

Hi Ann, thanks. It's neat that Mr. Rogers is part of our collective experience now.

Jack said...

Yeah.I Love this - not only a wonderful painting, but charming as well...lol..


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Jack
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