And this is how it went today…
“Wow, that’s beautiful!”
“You painted it…”
“I did? Are you kidding me? I painted it? I don’t remember this one at all. Are you kidding me? I can’t believe I don’t remember this. Wow, this is beautiful.”
I start to see the face of this old man in it. I don’t see the face at first. Then I start to cry. I’m crying because I can’t remember the time and place when I had created this. I’m crying because I created this. I’m crying because I still don’t remember having painted this. I have to look at it a long while to feel even a vague memory stirring.”
“The stars. I love the stars. My teachers told me my work was too complex and detailed. But this is beautiful. How much did you pay me for it?”
“I traded you baby-sitting remember? 100 hours of baby-sitting. Do you think you got enough for it now?”
“I absolutely think I got enough for it. Wow. I painted this. I’ll have to try this technique again.”
“Oh my, I don’t remember this one either!”
“You don’t remember the frame?”
“No. I don’t remember it at all. Wait… I painted lots of these. One hundred. Your brother has one, so does my aunt. I have the last one, the one with the mask. Will you sell this back to me?”
“No, a famous artist painted it <laughing>. And I have more over here.”
“I can’t believe I forgot about all this. I blocked out everything about those years”
“Even the good stuff?”
“Uhm, yeah…I don’t think you get to pick and choose when you block things out. <sigh>”
This old man, he played nine.
He played knick knack on my mind.
With a knick-knack, paddy whack,
Give a dog a bone;
This old man came rolling home.
These are (evidently) two of a series of 100 “This Old Man” paintings I did in the 70s and early 80s. This first is 4 feet wide. White glue and acrylic paint on masonite, in a technique I experimented with at the time. Pardon the flash. It was the only way I could show the detailed texture. The second is much smaller, no dimensions taken today. I was kind of in shock still. The rest of the Rhyme is here.