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on the easel

Katharina and Hardy Ecke in Oregon

Hardy Ecke on the Riding Mower at the Oregon Coast

Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C.Gwynne

Cynthia Ann Parker and Prarie Flower

Casey Kasem

Casey Kasem

Twenty-seven Three Seventy-seven Forty-eight
Twenty-seven Three Seventy-seven Forty-eight
80 x 60 cm
n fall 2016 the kids visited us in Oregon. It was the first time I had the pleasure of meeting my granddaughter. In the following year my son asked me to paint a portrait of Katharina. On the phone we talked about my gardening work and my son made a comment: "Dad, we want to see you only as an artist, because we love to have your paintings in our house and we don't want to remember you as a gardener!"

So then, laughing inside, in a flash it came into my head to paint myself as a gardener, integrated into the painting. In my mind I was saying to him, trying to make a point: "
I do gardening to pay the bills and not as a hobby or wasting leisure time. It is hard to keep your head above water, being an artist, in a rural area like that!"

Very quickly I formulated the main ingredients for Katharina's portrait. The Minnie Mouse doll that she got from us for her birthday was a faithful companion for the next couple of years.
The herring is a reference to her ancestry. My grandma Else Ecke was the elder daughter of Spaller's Herring Factory, which served Berlin with Rollmop, a rolled pickled herring and with fried herring.

Oma and Opa Spaller with their daughters Else and Lucie

Empire of the Summer Moon von S.C.Gwynne tells the story of Quanah Parker, who was the son of the Comanche Chief Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman obducted by the Comanches as a child later became Quanah Parker’s mother and the mother of his little sister Prarie Flower.
It took me almost a year to read the heart breaking and horrific story about the Indian wars as if reading "Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee" that I read 30 years ago, wasn't enough.

Orion is a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world. It is one of the most conspicuous and recognizable constellations in the night sky. It was named after Orion, a hunter in Greek mythology.

Handing forward some philosophy is important to me, even though my granddaughter never heard the words from the author himself. On the weekends, when I was a teen, I was listening to the AFN American Forces Network in Germany and I loved the Top 40 countdown.
Fascinated by the voice of the radio DJ, Casey Kasem, I will never forget his concluding sentence at the end of each show: "
Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!"
While I was adding some stories about stars into the painting, I had to mention the Halley's Comet as well.
Because I love rebuses, I wanted to hide the meaning of the title of the painting. Maybe it would have been more interesting not to give it away, to spark more interest in the secret message, but ...
torn to leave it as a riddle ...
okay fine then
Halley's Comet is the key to solve this puzzle.
27 3 77 48
Halley's Comet is a short-period comet visible from Earth every 74–79 years. Halley is regularly visible to the naked eye from Earth that might appear twice in a human lifetime.
Halley last appeared in the inner parts of the Solar System in 1986 and will next appear in mid-2061.

In 1986 I was 27 and my son Oliver was 3 years old.
In the year of 2061 my son will be 77 and my granddaughter Katharina will be 48 years old.
Already feeling my aches and pain getting older, I guess it would have been too cocky to put my 102 years of age in the code. So I didn't do it. I would really love to see how my kids are doing in the year 2061 and if they remember how I created that number code.
and then, where will this painting be?

Disney Minnie Mouse doll

Else Ecke geb. Spaller

Lucie Baath geb. Spaller

Prarie Flower

star constellation orion