A March School Day

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Here it is March already and the scene below appropriately depicts what we’ve experienced here in Wylie, Tx this past week. A March School Day was produced a few years ago and was awarded third place in the Oil Painters of America Western Regional Competition.

"A March School Day" - 16"x 16" - Oil

“A March School Day” – 16″x 16″ – Oil


The 16″x16″ oil painting depicts a scene in Wylie, TX, but it also represents small town America and those memorable days growing up when we rode the bus to school.

A square format was chosen because I wanted to compress the scene somewhat and use the wet roadway as a strong, dark value shape leading to the focal point. The orange school bus became a natural complement to the wet asphalt.

The values for this painting were first established by doing a well refined raw umber block-in. Once dry, a palette using white, prussian blue, alizarin crimson, and cadmium yellow medium was selected to complete the piece.

My friend, Bernard Gieske, a writer and poet, was so taken by the painting that he decided to capture its sentiment in the following poem


Bus Stop

our bus moved on

through the routine of life

across the tracks of time

pass the signs that told us

to live life cautiously

we think of Joe, Mary, and Judy

Margie, Jane and maybe Charles

those cold mornings

standing in the snow

waiting for our ride

along the worn streets

the shuttered houses

sending morning puffs of smoke

to waken the day

the nickel and dime store

where I bought a kite one summer

there’s Meyer’s Grocery Store

good for penny candy

we rode as if

fitted into our places

traveling the school route

with a handful of books

and homework done the night before

this was our world for now

the history of our making

our week parceled out day by day

our time separated into subjects

our hours programed by others

our places assigned and seated

all neatly arranged and scheduled

we welcomed the whistle of the train

going places we could only dream of

counting the cars as they passed by

and last of all – the red caboose

we followed it until it disappeareddown the tracks

how stoically we wore the days

like the mailmen in all kinds of weather

life is a constant path of learning

choosing destinations to many places

reading signs of where we want to go

riding with others along the way

wondering how we all got from there to here

remembering those early morning bus rides



John Pototschnik is an Art Renewal Center Associate Living Master
To view his art and bio, please click HERE



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