Random Thoughts

Flowers in a large bowl

... it is always a pleasure

by Ed Boyd


We set out in March 3, 2003 for our trip to Florida for the month. Thirty days of warmth that we were looking forward to. We had been taking this month long visit to Venice, Florida for several years. Also, there were a bunch of us that we knew well from our golf club here in Melrose, Mass.

In my retirement, I had been spending a lot of time at the Cambridge Adult Education Center learning to write, draw and paint. Great fun to keep me off the street. I had brought my notebook to write with and I also brought several pastels. When we got to Venice we went to a store on Venice Ave. where you could buy art supplies. I bought a small package of canvas boards without any idea of what I would do with them.

It is my habit to waken pretty early and trying very hard not to waken Catherine, my wife of over fifty years. I went into another room where I kept my notebook. Up at about five gave me lots of time to write of the days happenings the day before. In the quiet of dawn, I found myself looking around the condo to see if there was something I might want to draw or to use my pastels. The sunlight, just begging to rise, shone on a picture on the wall that had flowers in a large bowl. I was prompted to get out a canvas board and with my pastel sticks I began to make marks on the canvas.

For many years I have been appreciative of impressionism painting. I knew from that I did not want to do a literal drawing. I wanted to see if I could do something like what the impressionist’s do. I made marks with the pastels and then rubbed my fingers into the pastels I had made. In this way, I worked for a couple of days, off and on, to create this painting.

I kept rubbing and rubbing my fingers into the pastels. It was a nice sensation working my fingers, feeling my way along. When I had finished to my satisfaction, I presented my painting to Catherine as a present for her. She looked at what I had done and in a brief moment said, “Ed, you have to frame this!” I was very pleased by what she said and carefully packed the picture away for safe keeping. When we got home the first of April, I took the picture to the frame store on Main Street just opposite the swimming pool of the YMCA, in Melrose center. The framed picture now sits on the wall in our den.


It has been sitting there looking down at us for seven years. Every now and then I will look at it and I can feel our arms around each other.

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