Thursday, April 22, 2010

Depression-era Dreams

Depression-era charcoal drawing done on a brown paper bag, incorporated into piece, Hoohoo's Dream, 24 x 24 inches on plywood.

O N   W O O D — This piece utilizes one of my late aunt Hoohoo's drawings. It was charcoal on a brown paper bag-done during the early 30s, the worst of the Depression. Imagine a mother trying to encourage her young artist's talents, and having to cut up shopping bags for her to draw on. Hoohoo's Dream shows a colonial house on a pond, with a couple of boats floating on it, one full size and one 'lake sailer' toy boat—a large schooner just like the lake toy I found in the family's belongings decades later. Surrounded by pine trees and on a hill, it's very evocative of the Connecticut shoreline where I still live. I've also used a school photo of Hoohoo at around the same age as she was when she did this drawing. The paper bag was as brittle as the ash on the end of a cigarette, and would have turned to dust if I hadn't used it in this piece. I've also used dried leaves, just as brittle and fragile as the drawing itself, and something Hoohoo taught me to appreciate.


  1. Hey Casey this is wonderful.
    Nice to hear from you today, and glad I made you smile. The "offspring" is 18, we're still squeaking by in Middletown, and I am wondering why. I'm thinking of going west, but with work so hard to come by, I'm afraid to leave my job. My boss is a teabagger. Horrors!

    Dunno why I thought about you, but I did, and I am glad.


    I bookmaked you.


  2. I'm so glad you wrote today! check your email tomorrow. hope to see you both soon.

  3. Casey, wonderful post! Thank you for sharing. I think your Aunt "Hoohoo" was a beautiful lady...and she sounds just wonderful. I am so sorry you lost her so early.
    Your thoughts do get me "to thinking" on my past and wonderful memories of dancing with my grandma to 78's and singing to spike jones! I tend to live a life that is sparse but I have some treasures from the past buried in my storage boxes. Ad soon as the weather cools so I can stand the rummage, I know I will be entering memory lane. thank you thank you!

  4. thank you MJ. Yes, Hoohoo was quite the force in my life, no matter how short the time. I wish she had seen me after I 'got it together' and that she could have been at my art show last year, but somehow I really think she still keeps an eye on me. Energy like that just doesn't disappear, although you can't see it anymore.

    and enjoy your memories too! I'd be nothing without mine.