A reflection is an instant of being reflected...reflected light...like a mirror reflecting an image being produced by one thing or another. Reflections can be recollections or remembrances Both the eye and the heart sees not itself, but by reflection of some other things produced by reflection of light. Reflections that we often see and feel give eah one of us time to turn back to our past and become meditative and thoughtful.
This is second and a moment that I, as an artist, caught 39 years ago in the autumn of the year, 1971, of both the reflection of light... and today, 2010... the reflection of the past. I caught a reflection of a precious moment within pencil marks of a sketch, sealed within my paint, brushes, and finger tips, a Daddy, Dr. Frank Marvin Davis, Sr., 32 years old, and his son, Frank Marvin Davis, Jr., 4 years old...sharing together the reflections from a pond in the afternoon sunlight.
Both Daddy, Frank, Sr. and son, Frank, Jr. shared the most important thing in the whole world, time together. Frank, Sr. was 32 years old and Frank, Jr. was 4 years old. Frank, Sr. has spent his entire career as a biological scientist as an Entomologist and he merely squatted down on a path around a pond as his 4 year old son sat on the bank of the pond on the same path. Together they shared the reflections of the colorful shadows of lights and darks dancing across the pond water of the blue sky above, autumn foilage, and branches of the trees. They seem fascinated as “Big Frank: is showing, sharing, and explaining to “Little Frank” the insects jumping on the top of the pond water and the minnows swiming and playing right underneath the pond water.
The pond is Eckie’s Pond, Morrill Road, right across the street from our President Mark and Rhonda Keenum’s... President’s Home on our Mississippi State University campus. Eckie’s Pond has been here as long as I can remember when I grew up on our MSU campus and use to ride my bike from our faculty home on Morgan Street to my piano lesssons up the hill and down the hill to Mrs. Annie Laura Lyle’s (now Sara Ann Lyle Bennett and George Bennett’s family home) which is on the same side and nearer to Eckie’s Pond than our President’s Home. I would call Eckie’s Pond a true and favorite MSU landmark right off our beautiful campus. Pet ducks use to call Eckie’s “home,” and we took a loaf of bread that afternoon to let “Little Frank” feed them too. That day the ducks were on the other side of Eckie’s Pond.
I remember thinking how very special this Sunday afternoon was becoming of the two gentlemen in my life, my sweet husband and my then only darling son...as they spent only seconds and moments as a Daddy and a son as they too became a part of the invisible reflections in Eckie’s pond water. I attempted to catch on my canvas that sunny Sunday afternoon the bonding affection of love of a Daddy giving the most important gift he could possibly give to his son, his time.
All three of us walked around the side of the bank of Eckie’s Pond and suddenly “Big Frank” spotted the minnows playing and “skirting” around on top of the water as well as deeper down inside the water. Then he noticed an insect two right on top of the pond water too. He bent and squatted down to tell 4 year old, “Little Frank” all about his love as well as his own entomological knowledge of our tiny creatures called insects. Then they spotted the small freshwater minnows swimming along in Eckie’s Pond that afternoon. It was a “split-second-moment” that I was given to quickly capture on my canvas. I think I captured within those pencil marks, brush strokes, and caught and captured within the paint itself a feeling of the most important thing in all of our lives, love.
Share this powerful painting with me, the artist...you as” the viewer” of a favorite painting of mine signed and dated in the year of 1971. Starting at the bottom of my canvas let your eyes go left to right as we read it like a sentence in a book. Our eyes are brought into this painting by the black reflection cast from the tree that mirrows the tree truck above. We spot the tip of the old stick that “Little Frank” as picked up along the side of Eckie’s pond pathway. It almost looks like a “home-made” fishing pole, and that he is fishing for a minnow. I captured only a side view of his one cheek and you can almost hear and see him smiling as he giggles and laughs too. See his one cheek as the sunlight hits it indicating such pleasure he is having. He had straight dark brown hair just like his Daddy’s straight and dark hair. His bright red cap on top of his head as the bright sunlight hit the bill of his cap. His one hand holds the old picked up stick/limb and his other hand is on the bank dirt pathway... sort of giving him a feeling of balance as not to get too close to fall into the pond water. His nylon yellow jacket with its hood around the neck of his jacket was added to give him extra warmth that chilly, sunny Sunday autum afternoon. HIs brown and white checkered pants and his bright red and black rubber boots kept his feet warm and dry. We know that the sunshine is coming from the left of my canvas as it almost makes both “Little Frank’s” and “Big Frank’s” faces have a “halo glow, “angelic glow,” about them. They were my two angels for sure. See the dark black shadow reflecting right behind “Little Frank”s back onto the Pond pathway itself. See his leg and his back as the shadow cast a mirrow of both on the pond pathway.
“Big Frank” hand and one second finger is pointing out to him all the insects on top of the water, but showing him also the minnows right underneath and deeper inside the pond water. I caught the profile of “Big Frank’s” facial features with his mouth slightly opened as he is talking and explaining about nature to “Little Frank” He is instilling within his son his feeling of our beautiful world filled living tiny insects and fish. “Big Frank’s” expression is intense as he is talking to “Little Frank”, but look how much fun he is having as you also know that he is getting so much pleasure that moment of explaining this world of nature to 4 year old, “Little Frank.” “Big Frank” is having a good time. He has on a brown and white stipped long sleeve shirt which in a way compliments “Little Frank’s” brown and white checkered pants. ‘Big Frank’s” other arm and hand have found a resting spot on top of his bent knee and his left wrist holds his black watch band and watch. HIs dark brown/black pants and his brown/buff colored hush puppy shoes that were so popular as well as comfortable to wear back in 1971 were great to walk in and wear that Sunday afternoon to hike and walk around Eckie’s Pond bank. “Big Frank’s” dark/black shadow of his two legs and pants were caught behind both of his feet and on to the bank itself.
Look into the pond water at the two prominent dark black/brown tree trunks, and let your eyes see the lighter black/brown shadows reflecting into the blue water with the white fluffy clouds also caught as a reflections into the pond water. We know from just the reflections of the sky above that it is a pretty, sunshiny day just right to go hiking and exploring an old pond right off the MSU campus. We know that it is definately autumn time because of the autumn colors of the leaves that have falllen from the trees above and also the reflections from the tops of the trees too. See the colors of burnt umber, touches of orange, gold, yellow and naples yellos mixed in with cerelean blues, turquiose blue, greys and browns. Look closely at the edge of the water of the pond and the dead and darker leaves as they began to decay next to and “bucking up” to the pond bank itself. Let your eyes go now to the top of “Big Frank’s” head to the same blues and the brownish color of the water and on to the third large tree trunk. Using the odd number of tree the prominent tree trunks which is always eye-appealing, (Odd numbers...3 tree trunks) Behind both “Little Frank” and “Big Frank” we know that the pond pathway goes on as the black/brown shadow of that third tree truck takes our eyes on down the pathway from which we have all three walked down to get to our destination where we stopped for a few minutes.
The lights and the darks, the shadows, the main portraits of “Big Frank” and “Little Frank” the reflections within the Eckie’s Pond water make this a very powerful painting indeed. It is what I call, “A forever lasting piece of art.” This painting, simply entitled, Reflections, will be meaningful forever. It is a universal painting because it is a painting of love.
I reflect back as I write this Starkville Daily News Column of those 39 years ago..wondering...” where in the world has the time gone?” I look at my husband of 46 years and see now a 70 year old Daddy and Grandaddy with... instead of dark, straight brown hair...I see a head full of beautiful hair that has turned snowy white. I see wrinkles that add character to his face and a sweetness of loyality, faithfulness,and enduring love to his now three grown children, “Little Frank”, now 43 years old, McReynolds, 35 years old, and Elizabeth, 31 years old. to his 5 grandchildren, Jordan, 11, Patrick, 8 (“Little Frank’s and Carla’s children), Grey 10, Holland 6, (McReynolds and Gayla children) and Mallory Ann (Elizabeth and Stephen’s child, and a brand new grandbaby expected in 2011)
I reflect back to those 39 years ago now as I look again at my only child then, “Little Frank” , and wonder how in the world could he be 43 years old now?.? He was merely 4 years old that sunshiny Sunday afternoon with his little yellow nylon jacket on with his red cap and his favorite red and black rubber boots on that afternoon as we then hiked around Eckie’s Pond pathway stopping only for a moment to take time to reflect, and then I had the honor and pleasure of capturing on my 100 % cotton canvas love.
You, too, reflect back 39 years ago and think about what your life was like then 1971 and what life if like today, 2010. What were you doing then? What are you doing now? Did every second count then? Does not every second count now? Enjoy every second, minute, and hour of living now, today. Always be yourself, be happy, and take time to maybe go out to Eckie’s Pond right off our MSU campus and take a moment or two just to hike around the pathway of the old pond and enjoy being outside in our beautiful world of nature... our great state of Mississippi... our little spot in North East Mississippi... Starkville, Oktibbeha County and Mississippi State University, Mississippi.
And I got to capture as an artist on my canvas... within my pencil marks, brush stokes, sealed with paint the most lasting and enduring feeling in the whole wide world just four little letters, L-O-V-E. I placed my name at the bottom of the canvas that day 39 years ago and dated it 1971 and titled it simply, “Reflections.”