"School" - Oil on Canvas, 24" x 36", painted in 2012, 2013, 2014 - $950
This one is pretty heavy isn’t it? Or is it just me.
Elementary school was a big deal to me. I remember not wanting to go – kicking and screaming and crying when I had to go to kindergarten. I used to walk to school in North Falmouth. It was about a ten minute walk. My dad, James C. Boyce, used to accompany me down to the corner where there was a gas station and there he would say goodbye and I would continue the rest of the way on my own. Sometimes it was my mom, Ursula Murdock Boyce, that would take me down. I remember once I didn’t want to go and my dad had to kind of drag/carry me down to the corner. I think that extreme episode only happened once or twice. I’m sure I had some nice walks to school in the younger years, but I just don’t remember any right now.
Recess was a sometimes harrowing experience. I don’t recall totally sitting alone and dejected in a corner like Jan is in the picture but I did hang out with just a few friends somewhat peripherally. I avoided the big organized games (if you call 20 six year olds per side in a soccer game organized). When I was in third and fourth grade, the group sports became mandatory. There was to be no more small groups of nerds hanging out on the edge of the field.
I guess one time I did look like Jan – I remember not wanting to play softball so I sat dejected by the edge of the field. The Principal, Mr. Dalthart, a tall distinguished looking man with shock white hair sauntered up beside me and said:
“ Did you come out here to catch fly balls?”
“No I’m not playing”, said I.
“Come on Sean You gotta play”, he said gently but firmly.
So the feeling from this piece derives from multiple outlets. Going back now to my trip to California when I was 12 – I went to school with my cousin Brendan two days while I was visiting him in Venice. I remember being excited because I was in a real city school – not my small town simple school. The playgrounds were totally paved parking lots with chain link fences – no trees or fields, that was different for me. Also I was one year older than my cousin and big for my age so I was the biggest kid on the lot. I remember breaking up a fight between two boys – it was really scary. I think I actually grabbed a kid and maybe restrained him, but the fight was diffused and no one got hurt but I remember my heart was racing. There are other memories from that experience, but those will be for another time.
One last thing to mention about this piece is that when Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” album came out in the eighties I remember thinking "how stupid and reactionary this song is – of course we need education! How else are people going to study to become doctors, scientists, philosophers, artists, architects – you know, everything?" Now Meshe and I argue a bit – she thinks there is no need for education – that it’s a powerful and harmful indoctrination process by which the government initiates and exerts control over us. I have come to question my own beliefs on this very deeply as of late myself.
Anyway – I could go on....