Spring Saturday, or Boy on the Log

Before there was a painting, there was an inspiration. "Spring Saturday", a late 1960's painting by my dad, Armand Merizon,was first realized when he was meandering out in the country one spring day. He came across a group of boys playing on a huge log out in a barn yard.

The boy with the cap and shovel was to become permanently immortalized in oil paint, sitting on top of the giant fallen tree trunk, the center of interest in my dad's "Spring Saturday" or as our family always referred to it as, "The Boy on the Log" painting.

Often my dad would begin a painting by making a preliminary drawing with charcoal on tracing paper to get his placement details figured out. Composition was always of the utmost importance.

Spring Saturday

"Spring Saturday" was chosen for a 750, limited edition lithograph reproduction by the Frost and Reed Company of Bristol, England. It was a major, prestigious highlight in my dad's life.  Those were such exciting times when I look back on them. My father's reputation was constantly growing. His work was selling. I think he was creating up to fifty or more finished paintings a year in those days.  I remember watching as he sat at the dining room table and signed every print in pencil, one after another.

Armand Merizon looking at Spring Saturday print on his easel in his studio in the living room.

 We had a print of the painting. It hung by kitchen table, behind my dad's chair, for the next 40 years. The rest of my dads life. The light from the west window shown in on it every day. It never faded.  Sometimes when we were all at the table having dinner, and my dad was speaking extra long about something; politics, religion or the general state of the world, I would look above his head and stare at the "Boy on the Log."

 I would look at the paleness of the trees in the background. They were just beginning to turn from gray to a very light green. That beautiful softness that comes over the landscape every spring. You can just see the beginnings of new life on the brush in the foreground.

I love the boy's high tops.They looked like they served him well! I look at the bill of the cap shading his eyes. The exquisite light on his cheek and ear. I just stare at that profile, and wonder what he contemplates as he sits there so intently.

Then my eyes wander down the jacket or sweatshirt. His somewhat worn jeans with the cuff neatly folded over, was the style in those days. The fabric textures are fine and wonderful. The light and shadow, the folds and contours, are all just perfect.