The Gazebo

The Gazebo – Oil on canvas – 24 x 36 inches.

This painting has never appeared in a gallery nor in any other public exhibition, and this is the only time it has been posted on social media. So here’s a question: Could this structure be a fantasy of the artist, or might it actually exist somewhere? If it’s “real,” that is, if it has been painted on the spot somewhere, where might that somewhere be? In Italy? Copenhagen, perhaps? Connecticut?

When I first saw the gazebo many years ago, I had been informed that it was part of the history of what had been the largest thoroughbred horse ranch in California. To me it appeared in my imagination as a dazzling relic of the 1930’s. I saw summer garden parties with beautiful women in flowing dresses, flowers everywhere, an orchestra playing Gershwin music, boats on the lake, champagne and tuxedoes, straw hats, and the shade of Jay Gatsby, hovering above the festivities.

The structure’s arches and roof suggested Europe, and yet here it existed in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. If there is a ghost present, it would be that of Errol MacBoyle, the wealthy gentleman who built the gazebo and the accompanying lake. The gazebo was not built for parties, however, but as the control center for the electrical connections, pipes and valves that regulated the water that still flows into a gigantic fountain at the opposite end of the lake.

You can make your own choice between the literal gazebo and the imaginal one. Or, why choose? Might it possible to hold both visions in mind at the same time? And perhaps include two ghosts as well? Or in the case of Jay Gatsby, the ghost of a ghost?

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