Thursday, November 10, 2011

Art in My Mailbox

 In my mail yesterday afternoon, I received a package containing a beautiful work of dedicated art. It is the 2012 Farmhouse Greetings Covered Bridges Calendar. The artist, Linda Cook Devona, was a classmate of mine in high school whom I rediscovered recently on Facebook.  We didn't exactly move in the same circles back then, but were always friendly and shared quite a few classes. At the time, I was totally consumed with acting in plays, my infatuation with my boyfriend(s) and running around all over creation doing way too many activities. Linda, I presume, was happily drawing and preparing to go to art school. She was very sweet and seemed somewhat naive to me ... in hindsight I can now see that I was scattered, she was focused. I wish I'd had her "stick-to-it-iveness,"  rather than dropping out of college and never achieving my degree. What I can say now is that we still share our love for art and the natural world. I'm so happy we stumbled upon each other again!

Memories. Linda and I were in the Mrs. Lester's senior art class together and I particularly remember the time when we were all assigned a project using acrylic paints on canvas. I can close my eyes and see the bright colors of Linda's  work which was a farm scene with a large and very cheerful rendition of a cow. I didn't quite get it at the time - why in the world was she painting this bucolic vision? Now I know. The girl that I knew then became the woman who now, many years after achieving her dream of getting a BFA from RIT, can draw the most intricate and detailed renderings of country life -- landscapes and barns, farmhouses and gardens, flora and fauna ... well, it's just amazing. My friend and art class buddy, Mark Robinson, and I were always a bit miffed that Mrs. Lester paid so little attention to us and seemed to only have eyes for Linda's work. I guess the lady knew what she was about, since it was her star pupil who produced the lovely calendar I'm poring over right now. It's obvious that she spent countless hours making the ink drawings for this publication;  I can't say how much I admire her level of dedication.
Linda's  illustrative abilities and attention to detail make viewing the 12 months of covered bridge art a joy. Each page features a different bridge from locations all around the northeastern U.S. and many also have beautiful drawings in the surrounding borders that enhance the central image. One can look at each page over and over and keep discovering tiny details that are just a delight. I think my favorite has to be November (above). It's such a lovely bridge, and the borders are filled with drawings of leaves and tiny birds and squirrels in the corners. Fabulous!

Thank you, Linda for sending me such a treat for the eyes, and for allowing me to post these little scans of your drawings. I hope many, many copies of this work find their way into peoples' homes and hearts, just as it has mine.

All images copyright 2011, Linda Cook Devona.


  1. Holy mackerel, Joan! I'm blushing! Thanks for the swell review! I'm honored to say the least! You even chose one of my favorite drawings ( of the bridge with the leaf borders). You hit the nail on the head, too, regarding high school life... Now that I've had kids and they are participating in various school activities, I realize what a sheltered life I led back then, and I do have regrets I didn't go to football games, follow cross country, be in band, etc, etc., but can't do much about the past now... I do remember thoroughly enjoying your performance in Hello Dolly and wishing I had a special boyfriend, too ( instead of having just schoolgirl crushes)! And I'm enjoying your blog, even though never got the hang of knitting or crocheting( believe me, I've tried)! Yep, my motto has always been, practice, perseverance and patience!

  2. Hindsight is awfully keen, isn't it? LOL If only we'd known some of life's lessons in our teens and twenties, we'd all be in better shape today. But, all in all, I'm grateful for all the good things that have happened in my life, and try to believe that the bad times are meant to teach me something. We all try to give our kids a little 'heads up' but they have a hard time fully believing that we know what we're talking about. Aaaannnddd, I STIL:L don't know what I want to be when I grow up! ;-)