There are some things in one’s life that time is unable to devour… and that is the simple pleasures. And although time may chip away like the splintering of a tree into kindling, only to be consumed and then float away into ashes, simple pleasures often remain a constant.
How we occupy our time may change from decade to decade, person to person, generation to generation, yet some pleasures are still considered favorites. And even though the world has slowly been dominated by technology, there is still room for a most unelaborated contraption, the swing. The very act of swinging has the ability to transport us back to our youth on a spring day; a carefree moment in life.
And so, I invite you to swing back in time, close your eyes, and allow yourself this unsophisticated delight. Recall a time when a simple pleasure occupied your time; and I would imagine for some, it may have been between the boughs of a tree…. upon a swing.
Today’s blog returns to us the esteemed thinker: Winslow Homer (1836-1910) America’s great artist who in the ninetieth century had the vision to recreate on canvas and paper both the simple pleasures and harsher realities of life. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Homer began as an illustrator and developed into the arena as one of the finest realist painters in the United States. Known for many of his watercolors, his work often emphasized nature; such the cliffs, mountains, rocks, and the seas of New England. He captured the wildness of the forces in nature as well as the people that endured and settled such harsh regions of the time. He found the tranquility of Mother Earth and her beauty… and then, through his art, brought it all to us.
I now bring you Homer’s interpretation of what I call simple pleasures; a watercolor completed in 1897, Girl on a Swing.
First image: NL Avery archives, Brickell Walk (2012)
Portrait image: Winslow Homer, circa 1890. Photo: Courtesy the Theodore Bolton papers, 1917-1958. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.