DONE–June 2024

By Diane Lockspeiser

I have officially finished the second mural in the Andes Public Library. It is in the children’s section, the first being in the bathroom. Both walls needed decorating of some sort, but had issues to overcome. Since this was something I had done professionally for 20 years, I decided to make it one of my contributions to this lovely little town that has become my home.

Both murals became busier than my usual style, mostly in order to include all the wonderful requests from members of the community. The children’s mural, I found, also really needed to be busy in order to properly fit in with its surroundings full of books, toys, and delightful little furniture.

I tried to put in as many visual plays on words that I could manage, like putting cattails next to a cat’s tail, or the several types of “flies.”

Lilies were a request for the bathroom mural that came too late to be included there. Tiger Lilies being the only one native to our area, I painted some on the library side of the “stone” wall. See if you can find and name the other six kinds of lilies I included in the fantasy land.

Having been asked to include agricultural references, I knew pumpkins had to be there, for the abundance of pumpkin patches and farms in our area. Cabbages were added because bunnies love them, and rabbits were THE most requested item. Besides, then I could put a baby in the cabbage patch! There is also a legend about Hercules as a baby that involves the nearby lilies.

Did you know that the very first cauliflower farm in America was in Margaretville? Needing more white in the color balance, this gave me an excellent reason to include them.

One section is kind of an inside joke on myself. As Gazette readers know, I sweep my driveway in Winter. As only my family and some neighbors knew, while sweeping I almost always wear big clunky duck boots and an Elmer-Fudd-style hat that I would NEVER wear in public! Knowing that many young parents don’t even own a broom, preferring Swiffers or lightweight vacuums, I realized there must be kids whose only exposure to brooms would be from Harry Potter or Halloween witches. I decided to add some confused children for a “sweeping class.”

I had lots of fun painting both murals, but it became increasingly evident why I am retired. To work on some areas required getting into and out of positions that are not easy for me to do any more. Both my energy levels and my eyesight do not last nearly as long as they once did. As I go back to doing little projects at home (an artist never totally retires), I do wholeheartedly hope that my two Winters of loving labor will bring you much joy for many years to come.

Thank you for allowing me to give this gift!~