Sunday Morning Silence in the Man Cave

Entrance to my Man Cave

Entrance to my Man Cave

Sunday Morning work on the Cafe Still-Life

Sunday Morning Work on the Cafe Still-Life

Diners originated in Providence, Rhode Island, in the 1870s.  A newspaper salesman named Walter Scott noticed a need for after-hours food service for workers on the late shift and anyone else obliged or inclined for whatever reason to stay out after 8 P.M., when all the restaurants in Providence would close.  Having hitched a wooden wagon to a horse named Patient Dick, he roved the town through the night selling what would become and remain basic diner fare: sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, pie, and coffee, all homemade, all priced at a nickel.  Competition–larger wagons, wagons that stayed in one place, and wagons with indoor seating (mainly stools) in case of rain–soon followed, and spread from town to town in the Northeast.  In 1891, Charles Palmer of Worcester, Massachusetts, found it worthwhile to patent a wagon with a kitchen and dining area designed for mass production.

By the 1920s, diners had evolved into self-contained restaurants, factory-made and measured for easy delivery to whatever location the buyer thought would be profitable.

Gordon Theisen, Staying Up Much Too Late: Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and the Dark Side of the American Psyche

I was stricken with insomnia last night (probably too much coffee!), not able to fall asleep till about 3:00.  Television and great books kept me occupied.  Sleeping till 8:00, I’ve felt sluggish this entire day, but nevertheless enjoyed yet another caraf of coffee, excellent reading from Hemingway and Steinbeck, and plenty of noodling on this small 8 x 10″ painting.  I’m not making very fast progress now, as I’m feeling pretty timid about the clean lines of the spectacles, and have worked hard not to make them look sketchy and “organic.”  I struggle with precision in watercolor, and feel that the discipline is important for me.  The pattern on the tablecloth also has to follow a strict design.  I enjoyed working on the canceled postage and postmark on the envelope.  Still working on staining the envelope.  I thought that would be easy and mindless.  It isn’t!  Plenty of surprises on this composition, all of them fascinating to me.

I couldn’t have dialed up a better Sunday. The light and the silence have been so soothing, so affirming.  The reading and painting were smooth. I felt as though my pulse slowed down a bit.  The coming work week will be spastic, with state standardized testing dominating the days (always a questionable use of the school time, certainly not a boon for education).  My hope is that I can put it behind me each evening and let the studio envelope me as it has recently.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

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4 Responses to “Sunday Morning Silence in the Man Cave”

  1. G Says:

    who says u r alone!!!


  2. djdfr Says:

    The man cave looks like a proper study. I had imagined it as down in the basement somewhere. 🙂


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