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Home Country

By Slim Randles
Dec 29, 2004 - 8:23:00 AM

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Janice Thomas hasn’t spent 23 years of her life teaching art appreciation and history for nothing. As with all teaching, she learned more than the students, naturally, and has taken pride in seeing several of them go on to dabble fairly successfully in the world of art.

That’s why, two years ago, she took up the brush herself and got with the program. The early results were less than overwhelming. Her painting of Joe’s barn, I recall, made the old structure lean even more than in real life. She said this painting was “representational,” or “realistic.” No one seemed to want to buy that painting, so she gave it to Joe. We didn’t see it hanging in Joe’s house later, either. So Janice then began painting vases with flowers in them. Made them look kinda out of focus and gentle, but you couldn’t really tell what kind of flowers they were. She entered it in a local art show as being “impressionistic,” but it didn’t make much of an impression on the judges.

A true artist never gives up, however. Janice’s next work took her weeks and weeks. She painted a castle on the hill, we think. But it was a castle that kinda, well, melted. Called it “Existential Overlook.” She said this kind of painting was “modernistic.”

The judges didn’t like that one, either, and didn’t tell her why.

Next thing we know, she’s loaded her 12 gauge with tiny capsules of paint, backed off about 20 yards from a sheet of plywood, and blew it into glorious color. She sawed around the colored part and put a nice frame on it.

She got an honorable mention down in the city at the art show, too. When the judges asked what school of painting this was, she said, “Ballistic.”

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