Reviews ...

Don's art -- a Seattle seaside

.. another sketch and watercolor ...

from Don Norris




Sorry, folks, if I ran this painting before -- maybe some dozen year ago. The original
is about 24x18 inches, an ink drawing completed with water-colors. It is of a scene near
Seattle that I drew some thirty years ago, when Lorry and I "retired", bought a
motorhome and spent one year driving around the perimeter of our country. What a
marvelous trip that was! We wintered in Arizona, right on the Mexican boarder.

While I've always been an amateur artist -- starting about age four -- I never took it
seriously until "retirement". Actually, it's hard to date retirement, for, after 20
years writing as a journalist, Lorry and I got into the stock market and made a living
on our investments. I was 58 when we took that motorhome year-off.

It was then that I got serious about painting, and somehow I became teacher of art,
teaching a class of some twenty amateurs in the basement room of the First Baptist
Church. That was great fun because I organized several painting trips for the group,
travelling to Maine-to-Connecticut., painting and studying at various museums.

I got a grant from  the Melrose Art Council one summer, and spent some three or four
weeks driving all over New England and lower Canada. I stretched that 200 bucks pretty
thin, but had a great working trip.

Meanwhile a group of Melrose artists painted together for several years, and then
decided we needed a show to display our work. That was the birth of the Melrose
Art Show, which we organized for several years -- using Memorial Hall. Finally, like all
good things, we ran out of gas (so to speak), and we abandoned the annual art show.

Years later, a new generation of painters picked up the ball and started a new art show
at Memorial Hall. The difference was that their work was open to residents -- and open
to good artists from all surrounding towns. That show continues today.

Meanwhile, while aging, I raced motorcycles (dirt-bikes) for some ten years (through the
nineteen-seventies), did well, gaining one second-place trophy in a 225-mile course,
against 350 other riders. And I played volleyball for ten years, twice taking our
seniors team to the national tournament -- we didn't win anything, but it was a really
good time.

Note: When I started writing this piece, it was just for a filler in the March issue of
the Melrose Mirror-- but somehow I deviated.

In the meantime, I have had several of my paintings reproduced and framed, several of
which are decorating the halls at the Milano Center.

It has been a good life for Lorry and me. At age 85, we are still well, although my
short-term memory is fading. But I couldn't have written a better script for my (and
Lorry's) life.


February 3, 2017


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