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The idea for this painting came from a world class artist Audrey Roll-Preissler, an art expressionist . Her pieces are in major collections including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Audrey intended to complete a painting of Lions wearing glasses this spring. Health issues forced her to abandon the project. She gave me the drawings and we agreed that we would paint the Lions Wearing Glasses signing the painting �after Audrey Roll�.
Using her drawings as a reference, Erika Lynn Bartlett, assisted by putting the drawing on the Birch Plywood.
Visiting Audrey�s home smiles came across my face as I took in the bright colors and whimsical characters she had created with her unique style. She emphasized the need for humor and even mocking. �Our worldly affairs warrant addressing, questioning, judging�. even mocking (to preserve sanity). Humor is the best ingredient around and I try to seize and employ it in my expressions.�
And why Lions Wearing Glasses? Audrey and her husband had a long term relationship with Lions International Clubs. She had completed another painting �Lions Wearing Glasses�, a relief painting that hangs in the Post Office in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Her husband had been the president of the Local Lions Club.
I call the painting �Suddenly I See� The colors are bright and cheery. Being a Canadian I had to have a hockey player. Papa has a contented look while momma keeps a keen eye on the children. And who hasn�t taken a moment to watch a butterfly. And yes that is an attempt at giving one of the children a crystal ball.
The painting currently is hanging in the Birch Bay Hostel, an Birch Bay Lions project located in Bay Horizon Park, co-located with Camp Horizon, a summer camp experience for special needs individuals.
Lions International historically support sight programs aimed at preventable blindness and assist those needing eye care. It started in 1925 when Helen Keller attended the Lions Clubs International Convention and challenged Lions to become �knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.�
I am a curious lady, and attempt to do my research. I also like to check out information to check and see if it is true. I found Helen Keller�s speech to the Lions. It started like this,
�I suppose you have heard the legend that represents opportunity as a capricious lady, who knocks at every door but once, and if the door isn�t opened quickly, she passes on, never to return. And that is as it should be. Lovely, desirable ladies won�t wait. You have to go out and grab �em.�
And in her speech she brings to the Lions not a request for help but an �OPPORTUNITY�.
�The opportunity I bring to you, Lions, is this: To foster and sponsor the work of the American Foundation for the Blind. Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness; no little deaf, blind child untaught; no blind man or woman unaided? I appeal to you Lions, you who have your sight, your hearing, you who are strong and brave and kind. The Lions accepted this opportunity.
Today sight programs remain one of the Lions defining causes.
I am not a Lions but a friend of the Lions as I have an appreciation for the �Good Work� they do.
It is my intent to donate the painting to the Lions, perhaps to be used as a fund raiser or to amplify their sight programs. It is my wish that it be in a place that is seen by the public.
net profits from the sale of items purchased with �Suddenly I see� will be donated to Lions programs.
October 13th, 2011
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