Monday, February 2, 2009

Marvin dies with a tit in his hand (SOLD)



Marvin Nygaard married Helen Nilson. Soon after they bought a farm just down the hill from Tabor Church. Tabor Church cemetery has a lot of headstones with names like Nilson, and Rickmo, and Nygaard. Like most of the farms in the area, Marvin had dairy cows. Everyday he would rise at 4:00 AM, and milk his cows. He would feed them, and he would eat something. Marvin would go to his "day" job in town. At the end of another day, he would return home and milk his cows for the final time that day, feed them, and finish the rest of his daily chores. He would go up to the house and eat. In the spring of the year Helen often spoke kind words and coached Marvin about fixing the broken gate that allowed the hogs into her newly planted garden. On other ocassions, Helen would go right down to the barn and offer spontaneous encouragement while Marvin was milking. Ancestors on the hill, upon overhearing Helen encourage Marvin on progressive farming practices, certainly rested in peace knowing their lineage was secure. One day Marvin didn't come up to the house. Helen found him hunched over behind a cow with udders full of milk. At the funeral someone commented on how straight Marvin had planted his fence posts.
Oil on linen panel 12"X16" Thanks for looking and I welcome comments.
This painting is SOLD

6 comments:

Marilyn M. King said...

I love the earthy quality of this piece. Those hips are wonderful, a bit like Thomas Hart Benton. I think her tits are about to explode, bless her little heart.

Debbie said...

Every man's dream...the way to die, I mean.....
Tyler is right. Leave the shoulder and hand alone. They are exaggerated and it works. Defeated is what I see. And the story is...???
Don't let the oils defeat you. You'll be glad you persevered...and came over to our side...

Camille LaRue Olsen said...

Yes, I'm with Debbie and am happy you're moving to oils, your work will be even more killer than it is already. I know of artists who do their underpainting washes in acrylic (since they dry so fast) and then switch to oil for the top layer(s). In fact, I AM one of those artists :)
I like the exaggerated shoulder too and have no problem with the hands either.

Wendy Mette said...

While I have no artistic comment about the painting, my attention was recently brought to this piece. As the granddaughter of Marvin and Helen Nilson, I have to say I am appalled at the title and believe it is a sign of disrespect to my family, especially my 92 year old grandmother. We were hoping to show her something that would bring fond memories of her husband, not insult. I do not know you Mr. Nilson, and to my knowledge, we have never met, but it disgusts me that you could make such a repulsive implication by using the title that you did and dishonor a family tragedy such as my grandfather's unexpected and tragic passing.

Rick Nilson said...

Wendy,

My intent was not to defame neither the Nilson nor the Nygaard name. Good Scandanavian names both. I hope to be so lucky as to die doing what I love. I am pretty sure Marvin did.

M said...

Rick,

I believe that Marvin and his story need to come to the Northwest and live. Possibly this will help his family with closure (after reading his grand daughters concerns).

I showed dairy cattle as a child, having been raised in the Snoqualmie Valley here in Washington State, and new many a seasoned dairyman. I truly feel, as you had expressed, that other than being next to his wife, Helen, this was probably to Marvin the happiest way to end his physical time on earth. I would be proud to have him on my wall and a part of my family. I will most likely leave this ramble on your site, and let the family know where this memory of Marvin now resides.

A little more history about me; I am completing my doctorate in clinical psychology, and am a certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapist, a theory which uses horses as a metaphor builder when working with clients. There are no riding skills involved, just ground work. I primarily work with folks with developmental disabilities, and am mostly involved with folks effected by Autism, Aspergers and Downs Syndrome. The connection they make with the animals is amazing, I am sure very close to the relationship that Marvin and Helen have (had) with their cows. My relationship with my animals as a youth, and continuing into my adult life (and the fact that I have amazing and supportive parents as well) I believe created the described caring, kind and (hopefully) successful person I am today.
-Matt

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