My sister was only six or seven when she created her master piece. Her teacher provided a pile of scrap lumber for the class (2x4s, big stuff). Her tiny fingers worked industriously on her abstract sculpture hammering with childlike precision. After she ran out of nails, she began colorizing her creation with great glops of tempera paint until the entire apparatus was encased.
Then one day after it dried (possibly months later). She brought it home. Puffing out her tiny chest, she referred to it proudly as “My Sculpture”. It would have been more aptly named “The Colossus of California”.
She determined to gift it to Dad on Father’s Day. The angular projections were unwrapable, so she presented it naked, with a bow. It was received with marvelous expressions of gratitude. Dad took a picture so she could see it sitting on his desk. I remember wondering how he would get anything done with “The Colossus” looming over everything. The picture remains in the Family Archives to this day.
Many decades later, she brought up the subject.
“Do you remember that Sculpture I made for Dad when I was little?”
“The Colossus? . . . Sure.”
“Dad and I were talking about it the other day. I was saying how cool it was that he kept it in his office for all those years.”
“Well, apparently, he took a photo of it and then tossed it in the office dumpster.”
Hahaha! (a moment of shared hilarity)
“Well, it was colossal.”
I love BIG art. It may have been the early influence of “The Colossus”, but whatever the source. I do think it is delightful. In fact, this last weekend, my husband bought me a huge gallery canvas. It’s beautiful. It barely fit in the car. We journeyed home from Portland with it in the back seat; a Goliath canvas its height laying sideways across the seat. The monstrous quiet of the white gessoed surface screamed the whole way home.
I love how it looks, sitting there on my easel in the sunshine, full of promise. I can hear it shouting from the studio,
“I . . . AM . . . COLOSSAL!”
I have to do something about that or I’ll go deaf. With giant glops of paint, my fingers start to create.