Oh my goodnesssssss. I cannot believe it’s July. I can’t believe it’s FULLY summer.
It never quite feels like summertime as much as it does in July. They say August is the biggest vacation month in the world, but I feel most strongly that this middle month that never touches a week of school for anyone ever, is the richest example of carefree freedoms and sunshine.
Whenever I think of our country and its sense of place, I’m deeply influenced by the contrast of other countries. The concept of “American Summer” springs to mind- and suddenly the Beach boys are blaring in my inner ear and I see cat eye sunglasses, ruffle bikinis, fast cars and wayfarers. The feeling of necessary immediacy to be at the water and by the water for as many moments as possible-a creek rope swing, or a beach blanket and the smell of sunscreen.
I think as we experience seasons, there is a plurality of emotions. One is of nostalgia and the other a taste of immediacy. As we experience the summer, we are remembering all the feelings of the first time we experienced it, or your favorite time you experienced it. The bike rides, the aimless car rides, your favorite song possibly breaking your car speakers because it’s so loud. All these rush of emotional moments. The childish concept that summer seems to last forever.
And as adults; it is and it feels so desperately different. Not devoid of joy; but almost more important to taste the moment before it’s gone a mere 48 hours later. Eight alarms set on our phone reminding us to enjoy vacation - not to sleep in or we might miss it. This tends to either wash out all the color or make it all the more vibrant in the moment.
But in either perception we are never unaware of time. It’s somehow beautiful from every perspective.
The artist I responded to for this painting, is a forever favorite of mine. There was not a time I didn’t feel influenced or know about Edward Hopper. His Nighthawks painting is the most recognizable, possibly the most famous, he most copied, and the most parodied. It captures an ambiguous moment. A moment right before the big drama of the scene. The figures are terribly mysterious and portray a sense on imposing action; without the articulation of what that action is.
I love this still concept in his paintings.
My version of Nighthawks is greatly influenced by the road trip my family and I took across the south western states. We could drive for hours, days, weeks! who knows how long, and all of a sudden a speck on the horizon would become a little restaurant.
Was it open?
Would they serve us?
Yes. As a matter of fact this was their busiest hour. Yes, this is a town. The post office is at the end of the counter if you need to mail something. And the sheriff comes to lunch here every day and if you have a problem you can talk to him at lunch.
The easteregg of this piece- is that in my calendar version, I named this stop “Brent’s Breakfast Budget Diner.”
This is a little inside joke. My husband often is up at dawn to head off to work, and since e rarely make breakfast, he will often spot to get breakfast in the morning- creating a line item in our budget