Juanita Bellavance, Variation 2, From Variations on a theme portfolio, Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches
From age ten I was in the school band. In high school, we went to band camp a week before school started so we could prepare for marching season. When I made this painting I thought of it as a body of water surrounded by trees. Now I see it more as a field much like the field at Camp Wahsega located in Dahlonega, GA.
The camp was a beautiful place nestled between North Georgia mountains and had cabins and a stream running through it. Our band director ran the camp like a military boot camp so it was very intense days of marching practice in the hot sun. We had to be able to march eight steps to five yards in a straight line blindfolded. He was well-loved and highly respected by students and teachers alike. Therefore, we never complained about marching eight hours a day. By the end of the week, we were in tip-top shape. It was a lot of work but the camaraderie established made the “work” almost unnoticed. We were proud to be a part of the band.
The beauty of the camp had such a psychological benefit, it was almost worth it to be there regardless of the purpose. This painting brings that awe energy back to me.