Music is an element of the human experience that transcends time and culture, and it is as important to the health of our souls as visual artwork.
In Phonograph Days, a young woman loses herself in the swing of things — because given the hat, and the phonograph, and the dress – she has to be listening to jazz.
The slight smile playing across her lips betokens a wry sense of humor, and her hand on a swaying hip alerts us to a sensation of movement and sound. In the background, a beloved and well-played piano holds sheet music — lively as well in light of the dancing figures on the front cover. Atop the piano is a vintage photo of Gladys Boldman, the career woman of the 1940s upon whom this series of nostalgia paintings is based. The house, rooms, furniture and hats featured in these paintings are real, and they were an integral part of Gladys’ long and happy life.
Home was a sanctuary for Gladys, as it is for many of us, a safe place to which to retreat after a long day — and a full week — of working. Behind closed doors, in the security of our middle-class castle, we listen to the music that pleases us, we sing along without worrying about people’s comments, we sashay and shimmy with a sense of freedom and aplomb that we never achieve in a room full of colleagues and fellow employees or students.
So always should home be — a place of acceptance, peace, happiness, and freedom where we can truly be ourselves. Then, as we practice being individuals and fully understand the depths of who we really are, we can head out into the big, hostile world and remain true to ourselves, thereby encouraging others to do so as well.
Phonograph Days, along with The New Hat and Ending the Day on a Good Note, is part of the growing collection of 1940s Nostalgia, a time when we dressed with a sense of classic fashion, and learned how to make do with resources that were much more limited. It was a simpler era with a sense of innocence and poignancy that we are afraid, somehow, that we have lost.
Innocence isn’t out of date. Poignancy isn’t extinct. When we find evidence of these attributes, we gravitate toward the source, because goodness feeds our hungry and thirsty souls.
Phonograph Days, the original 24 x 20 oil painting on panel, is available for direct purchase through Steve Henderson Fine Art. Simply click the Add to Cart button on this or any of Steve’s original works to buy the painting safely and securely through PayPal.
Read the rest at Start Your Week with Steve.