Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
“Don’t step on it!” she said to her little ones. At the foot of the stair was a still butterfly. She and her young boys hunkered down in a deep knee bend to observe the tragedy. For an exquisite but brief moment she too was little again. Wow, look at the colors. Is it dead? Why did it die? What kind is it? Is it a girl or boy butterfly? The conversation lasted as long as there were questions for her to answer.
Their curiosity satisfied, she reminded them it was time to go shopping for school supplies. The boys ran to the car weighted down with last year’s lunch boxes filled with their treasured Star Wars and Spiderman figurines. It’s an important week. Back to school, so many lessons to learn.
Not one more important than the one she just taught them.
4"X4" Oil on hardboard. Copyright Linda McCoy 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org Collected
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
He ate little lunch, for the Chicago summer heat was almost unbearable. He let the screened, wood door slam as he ran back down the porch steps to play. He continued to load the truck with marbles, beads of sweat appearing on his nose, even though the summer “crew cut” was supposed to keep him cool.
He looked up to see his sisters playing tug-o-war with their pet mutt “Blackie.” This went on for a few moments but he looked up again when he heard the dog growl. Something wasn’t right. The dog had foam coming his mouth and was swinging it's head back and forth angrily. He heard the screen door slam again as his father came on to the back porch. “All three of you get in the house now!” He was too young to know what distemper looked or sounded like but his father knew.
The shots rang out in the silence of that summer day; loud, piercing. The dog did not stop running. Up and down the stairs, growling, foaming. More shots, until finally the dog lay still. What had just happened? The gray paint of the porch now stained with blood. His mother and sisters crying in the bedroom, his mother’s head leaning against the top bunk bed. Bewilderment clouded his young eyes. He witnessed his father’s sadness at having to shoot the dog, mixed with relief that none of his children or the neighbor’s children were hurt by it.
The next day the morning glories that filled the wood and wire fence were spectacular. The smell of the back yard after the brief summer rain was comforting and familiar. He took the marbles out of the old wood box and put them again into the back of the toy truck. Click, click, click.
10" X 20" oil on gallery wrapped canvas.
The toy truck was made by Metal Masters, 1938 Diecast. Painting and story copyright Linda McCoy 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I will be at a "meet the artist" event Thursday night from 4:00pm to 8:00pm at Artonsymmes Gallery.
Watercolor 24"X30" available through Artonsymmes Gallery
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
I grew up with firehouse lingo…still and box alarm, 211’s, 5-11 and 4 specials. The rig. Inspection days. 24 on 48 off. Smoke eaters. On rare occasions my sister and brother and I visited the firehouse; a big building with echo’s of fireman’s conversation’s bouncing off the walls. The firemen had worn out and throw-away recliners; green leathery things with holes in the upholstery to offer comfort in between calls or “runs.”
Firehouse coffee was as strong as espresso, I don’t think they cleaned the old coffee maker, just added more coffee. Hot mud 24/7. When the alarm went off (was this preceded by a ticker?) the bell was deafening. Yes, if they were upstairs in the bunk room they slid down the pole, one after another. Grabbing up gear and jumping into those big boots that had loops on top to pull them up they headed for the “rig.” Out the door with sirens and horns blaring, we watched as they left, not really understanding the danger they faced.
Sometimes we would hear of big fires on the television news, and would ask my mother “is dad at that fire?” The answer depended on where the fire was but my mother always reassured us that all would be well. She must have been beside herself with worry when she knew he was out of the “barn” but we never knew.
Back at the firehouse, (Truck 51 on Chicago’s south side) Muggs the huge German Shepherd dog prevented would- be intruders from taking the fireman’s dinner until they returned. No one messed with Muggs. I think they buried him near the firehouse with his own little headstone. One of the firemen wrote a little book about that firehouse and Muggs. My father drove the battalion chief for years at that very busy house.
At the end of his career at the CFD, he was stationed at Engine 92 on the south side. The hat is from that time period. The one from Truck 51 is battered and burned and probably still smells like smoke, as is the one from Engine 84 also on Chicago's south side, his first duty station.
This painting is inspired by a picture of my grandson that my dad took during our recent visit to Chicago to see my parents. He was delighted to be wearing this authentic hat, and I think my dad had a few stories for him.
Loud sirens, big red engines, hook and ladders that seemed to reach the sky, going into smoke filled buildings, yes- that’s a big hat to fill.