Some Cousins Dancing by Green Light Clock and Player-Piano
Primary Support: 14 x 16 15/16in. (35.6 x 43cm)
Wax crayons, pencil, green glitter, and ink on heavy wove paper
Acc. No. 1993.201.2
A night scene, the R side occupied by an architectural facade, the L side extending back into the distance, where lights are seen burning. There are nine figures either on the front porch of the building, in the yard immediately in front of it, or immediately inside an open door at far R. Two figures have their backs to the viewer, four are in profile, and three are half-turned. All figures are very green in color, being apparently tinted by the light cast from a large clock on the porch near the center of the picture. All figures whose faces are visible are grinning broadly (except the girl at far left, who is smiling but not showing her teeth). Two, possibly three, figures carry green fronds. Two figures are boys, seven are girls with very long hair. One girl sits at a player piano just inside the porch door. Elaborate inscriptions appear in the lower margin reserve. At the top a band of dark blue appears just above a narrower band of uncolored paper with glitter scattered over it and with a narrow band of green above it.
The drawing was received unframed and remains so as of this cataloguing.
Label:Gayleen Aiken created a world combining fantasy, memory, reality, and music through visual narratives liberally sprinkled with texts. She lived in Barre, Vermont, her entire life and began creating artworks at the age of two, sketching on the woodwork of her parents' home. As an adult, she was a leading member of Grassroots Art and Community Effort (GRACE), a not-for-profit workshop program in Vermont that supports artists, many working in community centers, nursing homes, and psychiatric facilities throughout the state.
Aiken's drawings frequently feature her twenty-four smiling imaginary cousins, the Raimbillis, some of whom are shown here, dancing the night away. In her home, Aiken kept life-size cardboard cutouts of these eternally youthful, carefree cousins.
Provenance:Via Grace (Grass Roots Art and Community Effort) of Vermont from the artist to Kerry Schuss, New York, NY, who was CWF's source.
Inscription(s):In large block letters in crayon in the lower margin reserve is "Some Cousins Dancing By Green Light Clock and Player-Piano/Out Around Front Porch at Night, a Granite Co. plant is Lighted Down the Road."
At far left in the composition, lettering [on a sign in the composition?] appears to read "Rambilli/Family/Art Making/Farm".
In small part-script, part-block letters, ink over pencil, in the far right reserve in the lower margin, is "Nickelodeon/Music-Box."/old Big House"/By Gayleen Aiken,/Artist, Musician, Cartoonist,/I Like Nickelodeon-Music./I Like Granite-Plant-"Sheds",/I Like Large Country Houses./They Made a Movie-Film/of Me. We've Tried lots of Hobbies./We Camp Around Helping/Relatives with Properties,/We Miss our old Wallpaper,/old Fancy Chandeliers, old doors,/old Attics, old porches, woodwork,/the old country Hills & Views & More./We Might want to Move Back to/one of our old Big Heirloom Country/Houses sometime later maybe." [Note: capitol vs. lower case lettering is not well distinguished in the original].
In ink in script on the reverse of the primary support is "Made in Vermont July 17. 1993 Sat. Night./Dear ART BUYER--/Write to me in Care of Don Sunseri of G R A C E. these Art shows./tell me alittle about yourself and family & kind of House type you live in, big? old, apt in big one?/Did you ever see & hear an old player Nickelodeon? or Not? Seen several? where seen one? like ours? whose?/What are your favorite hobbies? sports? Music? Do you sing? or play music? Did you ever have an/old organ? Modern Electronic organ? Modern Electronic Keyboard `organ [sic]? guitar? or what music instruments?/Did you ever live in a tall big old large 3 story house? Apartments in it? Have you lived in several large houses?/tell me about them. & your other small & medium sized houses too. Did you ever live in the country? city?/edge of the country? lived on farm? village? outside? small town? a city? a big tall city apartment building?/please do not store this art or any art too near hot heat or out in bright sun shine long,/as heat is bad for art. the colors may melt off or face off [illeg.] If they ever do, color over carefully with some colors./It is best to handle by edge. Carefully. because colors also smear badly, handle lightly & gentle."