Like Canvas #12 in my “Is It Bigger Than A Breadbox?” / “Twenty Questions” / “Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral?” painting project, my Canvas #13 also touches on the subject of school. Read about the numbered canvas project I made-up here:
"Is It Bigger Than a Breadbox?"
My canvas #13 is a painting of a painting of the family dog from my kids’ childhood years. I created the composition to include what can be classified as vegetables as well as what can be classified as minerals by painting our old dog in a holiday setting with a candle, a strand of garland, evergreens, and a wreath plus red bows, paints, and brushes.
We got our black and white bellied rescue dog in the early 2000’s when our kids were just starting primary school. Being that everyone in my family has their birthday in May ( except mine ), we named the rescue puppy “Moxie May” and called him “Moxie”. Since the beginning of school days for the kids, Moxie stayed close to our side ( literally for me, when I was the only one home, he was never less than a foot away from me as he followed me everywhere ) filling our home with love, comfort and joy from those very first days of school until the kids were off to college.
We treasure all those years with Moxie by our sides and recognize what a central part his love and companionship was to our family. One of my favorite memories of the love, loyalty and joyful warmth Moxie brought to our home can be traced back to each and every morning when it was time to catch the school bus.
The school bus stop for us was very convenient to reach considering it was just right out our front door at the end of our driveway. Of course when the kids were very young, their dad or I would walk with them to the end of the driveway to catch that step onto the bus, but as we all got a little older we felt it was fine for me to simply wait with my coffee at the front door for the wave.
Moxie, however, never saw things that way. For him the walk to the bus stop was not something he was going to let go of. Moxie never stopped seeing that walk from the door to the end of the driveway as a principal part of his day; and I remember watching his loyal dedication to it.
I love remembering how at the end of the driveway, after the kids jumped onto the school bus, Moxie would attentively stay and stand watch as the bus drove off, and down the street, and past the stop signs, and around the bend until it reached the horizon and disappeared. It was at that point in time where he would gently nod his head down, make a direct 180 degree turn, and begin his journey back up the driveway.
In his ritual, Moxie then proceeded to continue strait back up the winding driveway. Some days I remember him having an energetic, hopping skip in his steps and others just a calm, peaceful evenness to them. All the same, he always carried on his course up the driveway until he reached the walkway which lead to the house. It was there where the walkway branched off the driveway that he then consistently progressed with a clear 90 degree turn towards the front door where I was waiting.
After making the turn, Moxie would then ceremoniously steadily continue on step by step along the curving walkway. He continued on step by step along the curving walkway until he reached the stoop where he happily hopped up to get to the front door step at which point he would stop at the toes of my feet and look up directly into my eyes with a sense of peacefulness and accomplishment as if to say, “The kids are alright. I saw them off and safely on their way.” He did this each and every day.
“Good Tidings of Comfort & Joy with Merry Memories of Moxie”
I still keep a charm of Moxie on my vanity dresser since the fall of 2016 when he passed away, which in some ways feels so long ago but in other ways just like yesterday.
There was a time when my kids were younger that dogs were the main subject of my paintings. I painted many of them until around the time that my boys reached high school and I found a little more time to begin an art print business with the subject of baseball. I then painted quite a few baseball players.
Like our dog Moxie seeing the kids off to school and then a baseball player who attempts a journey around a diamond, in retrospect, going off into the world and then getting back to home safety is an apparent theme here.
Some of those old dog paintings including our rescue dog Moxie as a painted pup can be found in the blog linked below ( as well as my grown boys’ painted dogs of their own that
they each got in 2020, the year of the Covid pandemic quarantine. ) :
The Joys Found in 2020
A little more from Christmases Past:
When I was a kid my family also had a black dog ( named Schmoe ). We also had a cat ( named Squeaky ). They were around for most of my childhood as I can remember. ( I don’t know who named them, I imagine one of my three older brothers or my three older sisters. )
Back then, I would also wear big bows in my hair and I loved to wear overalls that were in style and that pictured green and orange umbrella patterned blouse with its long 1970’s pointy collar.
Unlike my kids who rode a bus however, I walked to elementary school. …And often my dog followed me (or my brother or sister). More than a few times Schmoe was known to walk through the school doors and roam the halls awhile. Schmoe was pretty low key about it all. There were Squeaky stories too. …But those were different times and different days.
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I am a 'self-taught' artist who can hardly remember a day when I wasn't in the process of creating something... Thanks for visiting my site where I can share some of my work.