Friday, October 1, 2010

Franziscka Windover and dreams of smalltown mainstreeting

When I look at this work, I wonder how someone so young could have ever captured the spirit of Saturday night mainstreeting in small town Ontario in the 1950's. When I looked at this I was overtaken by a flood of memories; my cousin Rick, riding on the hood of a car,(no safety belt in those days), in a long cavalcade of honking vehicles, and holding the huge intercounty baseball trophy. He reminded me of a Roman general hauling his captured booty through the streets of Rome on the way to the steps of Caesar's palace.

Saturday nights throbbed with life in small town Ontario back then - in the good old days. Ontario was pretty much a rural province then, and the entire farm community rode into town to shop and socialize. Walking down mainstreet was quite a journey, as you worked your way around groups of people chattting and having a good time.

But, mainstreeting in a Chev with the windows rolled down and the sound of Elvis's Hound Dog bouncing off the walls of the buildings - that was life at its best for a teenager.

Franziska has captured this spirit and her picture has that mood setting atmosphere that makes me wonder if it all was real or if it was a dream in our collective social psyche's.

Strange isn't it, how a good work of art eclipses time. Now that my dreaming is over, another reality sets in. The style of clothing of the two people to the right of the painting, tell a different story. Franziska has presented us with a drawing taken from the present times, of a classic car show in the nearby village of Marmora.

But here's where this picture soars. The entire work is softly wrought. Its precisely drawn, but yet, the fineness of line doesn't become hard edged. The tonal values are for the most part, muted, and subdued and the light is diffused.
The foreground road sets the tone which leads our eye into the work. The road looks wet, and the reflected headlights are gently spread.

Talk about realism! Is it my imagination or not? Does the left headlight look unbalanced and does it not look like the beam is independently cast down onto the road in front of the car?

And Franziska says that she is self taught? I can't help but wonder if the hand of the divine master isn't helping her make such dreams come to life.

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