Masterpiece Conversations: Donald Zolan

I have been racking my brain. You see, a couple weeks ago I was asked to use “April showers” as inspiration for this Masterpiece Discussion. That shouldn’t be too hard, right? I love the Spring and I love gentle storms. There was only one problem: I couldn’t think of a painting to use. Sure, there are lots of paintings of Spring, but do any have rain in them? And, there are lots of paintings with rain, but it’s usually the furious kind in seascapes that slam on the side of a lighthouse. I thought, and read, and researched… nothing. Then I found this little guy.

touching the sky

He’s perfect! As I looked at him, I couldn’t help but smile. Memories of when I was a kid came flowing in. The wonders of a puddle. The excitement of playing after the rain and especially if I was wearing my rain boots. Then I saw what the boy was doing. Do you know what he’s doing?

               This painting is called “Touching the Sky”. That’s right! The boy is reaching down and touching the sky (well at least he’s touching the reflection of the sky.) How cool is that! I thought to myself, “that boy is very clever”, and so is the artist who created him. That artist’s name is Donald Zolan.

Mr. Zolan was born in Brookfield, Illinois on August 11, 1937. He was born into a family of artist. His parents, grandparents and great grandparents were all artist. Young Donald began to paint when he was only three years old.  It’s no wonder his favorite painting subject was kids exploring the many wonders of the world around them.

Look at the boy in the painting. Do you see how bright and colorful he is compared to the cool colors of the umbrella, sky and wet ground? This helps to create a mood of childlike innocence. It makes me think of easy and inquisitive times. I also love the detail and texture of the water. Using oil paint and mimicking the colors used in the sky of the painting, the water is given the illusion of actually being wet. Do you see how the colors in the reflection bend to create the ripple effect?

I am so happy I stumbled upon this painting. It is cool and refreshing, yet at the same time, makes me excited about the Spring and Summer to come and all the adventures, no matter how big or small, I might have.

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Ponder It!

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Kevin Bartle

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