June 9, 2009

And then June Remembers

April, May and June go to the Sonoma Art Museum to see Rembrandt.

Harmensz van Rijn Rembrandt (1606-1669). June never knew his whole name and was surprised. April and May? You will have to ask them yourself, but be warned, they know a lot.

The decision as to who is to drive is simple. April has the most confidence and competence to get all there even if it is a somewhat circuitous route. April climbs in the driver's seat, May and June climb in the passengers' seats and off they go.

When they get to Watmaugh Street June informs all they must say, "WHAT, MA?!" and they do.

Round they go, zooming ever closer to the square and lo and behold they see it. A scenic drive is relaxing so long as there is time to get to the exhibit without cutting it too close to closing and April did. She even knew where it was, but that didn't stop May and June from calling out directions. April is used to that and is patient enough.

Rembrandt made lots of etchings. He focused on beggars for this exhibit though he couldn't have, at the time, realized there would even be a Beggars Etching Exhibit in Sonoma in the year of our Lord, 2009 because he was working, in the years way before, of our Lord, the 1600's. Colorful characters inhabited this world. The tiny, careful, lively depictions of those poor begging people, especially the "Rat Catcher" were eye opening if you ask June. Such vibrancy endured after all the centuries.

June remembers something. She remembers printmaking; etching and lithographing. She remembers studying Rembrandt. It's fuzzy, but she does remember from way back when. When she was in art school studying Fine Art with her emphasis in Printmaking, she found that her Bachelor's degree was called a Bachelor's of Arts with an emphasis in Printmaking. Pretty fancy if you ask June.

April, May and June peruse the little pieces of ancient paper upon which such an important artist etched. They perused and perused, stunned at the detail, such that April, May and June could just about be roaming those backstreets themselves. Such miniature art took a lot of perusing as you've guessed I'm sure.

The back room held Stella's colorful lithographs receiving not so much attention from the visitors.

The front room held a printing press and materials and directions to the process of etching. June knew a lot about what they saw, as she has a fancy degree in Printmaking herself and proceeded to discuss, teach and gripe about technique in particular, amatuer works of art showing off said techniques. She couldn't always remember the words for the tools that scratched, scraped and polished zinc plates, but she got the jist of it.

June remembered those days working towards her fancy art degree. Whew, what a lot of work. It took about 7 years to finish. Lots happened during that time. June was working out some old family stuff while working on the old printing presses, as well as grinding lithograph stones with three grades of grit to get it so smooth that the greasy pencil could really make an impression.

June drew and painted a lot of family stuff during those years including a lithograph of scared people in the woods and two scared girls huddled next to a scary man/beast. There also was a wonderful litho of a girl holding a baby and a mysterious litho of a child in a bathing suit holding a beach ball.

Heading home under April's adept driving, June remembered a lot. Thus began a heavy duty week of remembering and pain. Blurting out some of those memories may or may not have been appropriate for a drive through the golden, hilly scenery, but there it was and June shut up in the front seat as soon as she could until April delivered to her car. Goodbyes were said, hugs were given and June headed home to feel the sadness; the memories of brothers out of control, of brother's having birthdays and then one dying in a summery season similar to that very day.

June remembered a lot. She meditated on what Rembrandt and a brother hath wrought.

We know April is a good driver, but we may not know that April is a very good listener on the phone until truths are out and on their way to dissipating slowly into the clouds and beyond; dispursed somewhere else than in June's house and home and brain.


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