Moon Pies & Art

by doreyl Email

Images from my years past mostly show up as food or art. Since most of us remember only what we liked best, I guess it makes sense that I’d see Moon Pies and a carton of milk mixed with a Van Gough painting. When I reached fourteen my Dad decided to move us away from the southern Appalachian Mountains down into the Piedmont Belt of Greenville, South Carolina. Times were hard then and the only money I ever saw was my lunch money for school. The Scotch in me didn’t want to waste this hand full of change on a hot lunch, so I bought a Moon Pie and a carton of milk and saved my left over money. I sat on a curb outside the cafeteria and looked at beautiful paintings in my art history book as I relished my meager lunch. The memory of dark chocolate coating over marshmallow squeezed between two layers of crunchy yellow cake and an iced cold carton of fresh, creamy milk is as vivid now as it was then. A full course fine dinner would not have tasted better. Maybe it was the art that made the Moon Pie such a delicious memory.

In this spring of 2011 food and art are still creating unforgettable images for me. Living in the woods at Nature’s Home Preserve gives me a chance to grow my own fresh food in a garden and paint large art in my yurt studio. Tilling the earth, placing tiny seeds in the freshly turned soil and jumping for joy when the fragile vegetable leaves push their way up to reach the sun are all making new image memories, yet the most rewarding is the taste of the new vegetables. Spring also fills my artist’s eye with myriads of vibrant color. Wildflowers cover the ground where there once lay brown leaves and trees become burdened with blossoms. The air swarms with fragrant scents, birds and insects, while the ground moves with newly awakened worms, rodents, lizards, frogs and ground squirrels. Even our koi fish swim on top of the pond water, awakened from their winter hibernation... such rich images.

Overflowing with so many delicious pictures, I make my way to my yurt studio to paint them, so they’ll last forever. Using pastel sticks I quickly transfer the colors and feelings of my experiences to roughly finished paper. Pastel dust settles into the grain of the paper and my fingers move the colors around until an image comes forth and balance is achieved. This process could take minutes, hours or days. If the image grabs me, it might make it’s way to being painted with acrylics on a much larger scale, even a mural. This gives me as much pleasure as the bite of a Moon Pie did in my fourteen year.Throughout the year 2011, I’ll be painting my murals at festivals around performances around the Southeast. A full array of my fine art prints and notecards will be available for purchase as well.  Stop by and we can share  memories. Also you can visit Nature’s Home Preserve and attend one of my “Pastel Painting in the Woods” art workshops. It’s the first Saturday of each month from 2pm till 5pm. Call 828-293-2239 or go to for more information.

To see some of my art click on Photoblog:

Please look to the right to find more to read about!