My Memory of Janice's Shadow Series

> October 1986,
> new girlfriend, Janice
> walking with her in West Village.
> Surprise! Full solar eclipse, day turns dark,
> moon blots out sun. Weird!
> Hey, look at what the eclipse does
> to the leaves' shadows on the sidewalk!
> Both of us: Wow!

> Janice hurries back to her studio
> and shifts into manic artistic overdrive
> to make a series of pastel paintings
> on paper, capturing her impressions
> of those fleeting few minutes
> of other-worldly shadows
> on a Seventh Avenue sidewalk.

> Her mania for the shadow paintings lasts about a month,
> then she packs them away and moves onto something else.
> The eclipse shadow series never gets shown.

> Thirty years later, Janice (now wife) gets a chance
> at a one-person show
> in nice well-lit room at the Philadelphia Ethical Society.

> Hey, remember those leaf paintings?
> After all, we lugged them around
> (me grumbling)
> for three decades.

> She pulls them out of storage.
> Hmmm. Not bad. Got color, rhythm.

> Inspired again, she does a second series
> about shadows,
> this time using digital camera photos
> of ordinary house-plant shadows-on-wall
> and adding impulsive color in Photoshop.

> So here they are,
> two series, two different media.
> The same artist's reactions
> to a rare and eerie astronomical phenomenon,
> thirty years apart.

> (Next solar eclipse in Philly is 2017)