Sunday Morning


It’s a nice and cool Sunday morning and I get to do something that I really enjoy; sit on my deck and drink coffee and watch the world go by.  This is a nice relief from yesterday’s 84F+ temps with no air moving and you could cut the thick humidity with a knife.  The downside is the Sunsetter awning needs replace since there are some small holes that let the rain drip thru.

Today’s outside chores are canceled due to rain.  I’ll go out to my shed and unpack the vinyl fencing materials that were delivered for the screen that I’ll install behind my shed.  There’s not much else I can do for right now other than to sit back, drink my coffee, watch the rain come down, enjoy the breezes and watch the world go by.

Art Sunday #189: Palmer Hayden – The Janitor That Paints

the janitor who paints

Palmer C. Hayden (January 15, 1890 – February 18, 1973) was an American painter who depicted African-American life, landscapes, seascapes, and African influences. He sketched, painted in both oils and watercolors, and was a prolific artist of his era.

One of Hayden’s most prolific works came in 1937, when he created the iconic alleged narrative The Janitor Who Paints. This painting, labeled a protest painting à la The Execution of NIRA, was thought by critics to be a personal commentary on Hayden’s sentiments regarding the assorted, meagerly paid early jobs he had to take in order to survive that he was criticized for in the press. Despite his success and popularity not only in America, but also in Europe, Hayden was still regarded by some as an lowly janitor who had little to no artistic training and worth. In this painting, an African-American woman, man, and child are depicted in a crowded area which is made even more stifled by a canvas, cleaning supplies, and simple home decoration. All three are shown with thick, prominent lips, characteristic of caricatures of African people, and in the first draft, a bold portrait of Abraham Lincoln was hung on the wall. The title of the painting, as well as the contrast of cleaning supplies and art material, imply a balance, such as the one that existed in Hayden’s own life before he was recognized for his work. Inevitably, Hayden was scrutinized by both the black and white community as problematic for seemingly endorsing negative stereotypes in this painting as well.