Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I am not disposed to the post-1970s paintings of Gordon Smith, but I will look twice when I come upon one, particularly those whose season is winter.

Although Creekside Grasses, #1 (2009) does not have its season in its title, we know it is winter, just as we know that the artist is in the winter years of his long and remarkable life.

For me this pairing of age and season is a resonant one, just as a child's drawing of a flower will sometimes have me turning the paper this way and that, in search of the flower that I am told is there.

Below are two drawings by children, both of which have flowers in them, both of which come from an essay on childhood grief that was published in the American Medical Associations Journal of Ethics.

The first drawing is by Sienna. The accompanying inscription reads:

Ella in heaven giving flowers to God next to a rainbow, with the sun and clouds in the sky and a big yellow and green flower. Ella has wings and a halo and is wearing slippers!

The second drawing is by Dawson.

Ella in heaven with a big, hot sun, 2 (red) clouds above her, with grass, a black flower, and a red tree below her. Ella has wings and a halo and toes!

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