City of Lakes Community Land Trust. Katie's request was simple, she wanted a painting of a "baby brown bear banging on pots and pans with a wooden spoon" for her nearly two year old son, Asher, who they call their "little bear".
So, I followed directions with one change. I gave the bear two spoons to make him look more intentionally musical rather than banging wildly. I decided to place the bear in a natural setting as if he just stumbled upon this cookware which could have been left behind by some clumsy campers or maybe fell off of some flashy traveling salesman's rickety cart.
Let's go with the latter and say that the travelling salesman also has a tiny dog that dances and does tricks to attract crowds when the duo stops in small villages as they wind their way through the countryside selling their wares. Stranger things have happened. Right?
Here's a story:
This young brown bear is hungry and it's mother is away. Wandering around, the bear stumbles onto a road where there is a parked wagon and man wearing an orange suit studded with metal bottle caps and tiny tin mirrors. He is playing a clarinet and has tambourines tied to his knees. On his shoulder is is a dancing Pomeranian dog wearing a tiny costume which is reminiscent of something a Bulgarian Gypsy might have worn 100 years ago.
An audience has gathered around this scene and they are enormously enthusiastic about the salesman's routine. There is a great deal of cheering and people are waving money in the air over their heads.
The young bear begins watching and is so curious that he forgets his hunger and runs in closer. The audience sees the bear and cheers thinking that he is part of the show. No one flinches as the baby bear slips in behind the salesman, picking up pots and pans and wooden spoons. When the bear starts banging out an awkward beat, the salesman stops, turns around, and almost poops his pants. (The dog actually does poop... right on the salesman's silky orange shoulder.)
As quickly as he can, the salesman takes his shaking dog and hops in his wagon to gets out of there ASAP, leaving some of his wares behind without regret. The audience, following suit, also panic (though they are uncertain why). The crowd quickly disperses in a mad rush to get back to their home villages.
The bear doesn't seem to care and just sits by himself, beating his pots and pans until late into the night. A sliver of the moon rises and he is still banging away in the dark. He can't quite keep a steady beat but who cares, he's having fun... and he's a bear... who's going to tell him?
Thank you, Katie and family! I hope you like the painting.