Through the dark and improbable marketing magic of the Big Baking industry, today is National Donut Day (or possibly “National Doughnut Day” depending on how classical your tastes in pastry spelling are). Donuts are sweet snacks usually made of deep-fried flour dough. The traditional doughnut is ring shaped, probably because that is a very efficient way to make and evenly fry such a pastry (if the cake was a sphere or a disk, there would be uncooked dough in the middle), however there are also rod-shaped doughnuts, crème filled donuts, crullers, bearclaws, and heavens only knows what else! Donuts have a creation myth wherein a magnificent Dutch sea captain who loved pastries was piloting his galleon through a towering storm. The mariner was unwilling to let his ship sink and his crew perish, but he was equally unwilling to forgo the pleasure of fried pastries for even one moment, so he stuck the donuts on the ship’s wheel so he could devour them as he faced off against Poseidon. I say this is a myth because it seems likely that donuts predate the Dutch. They were probably invented by Sumerians in equally trying but now unknown circumstances. It’s still a great story though! I have heard that law enforcement officers have their own secret donut creation myths, but, since I am not a policeman these sacred traditions have never been vouchsafed to me. Maybe if you ask any of our friends in blue about this, you should be very circumspect…
Ferrebeekeeper has an immoderate fascination with toruses which stems from a peculiar combination of aesthetic, mathematical, and mystical factors. In my personal world of symbolism, the universe itself is a torus (it seems like it might well really be a torus, but our understanding of such matters is incomplete). The most familiar torus here on our Newtonian scale is the humble–but delicious & multitudinously variable—donut! So I paint lots of symbolic microcosmic paintings of donuts. I was amassing a whole wall of them, but I started to sell some so that I don’t have to live on the streets. Maybe they will be worth a bunch of money someday…. You could do me a huge favor and say exactly that to the art world professionals whom you meet in your life!
I have already put up photos of some of these doughnut paintings on this blog here and here (to say nothing of the painting of a toroid honey bundt cake which serves to represent the entire blog). In celebration of National Donut Day, here are two more Wayne Ferrebee original oil paintings (well, digital photographs of the same). The painting at the top is grandiloquently titled “There is Nothing Suspicious About these Glowing Treats in the Ocean Depths.” Three magnificent sugary donuts glowing within drift among the happy denizens of the deep ocean. A friendly anglerfish proffers a funny lure, while a near-eastern ewer drifts toward the ocean bottom. A glass squid with orange dots scuttles past the scene. In the murky background a passing shadow resolves into another friendly creature of some sort. A cynical & world-wary viewer might interpret the work as some sort of warning about impossible things that are too good to be true, but the enlightened art-lover recognizes it as an evocation of benthic wonders!
The second donut painting here is a very tiny painting (4 inches by 4 inches–so smaller than the image onscreen) which concerns the micro-world beneath us. It is appropriately titled “Cell Donut.” Against a dark magenta background, a courtly mummer performs some sort of dance/pantomime for a paramecium and a clutch of glowing eggs (or possibly cells). A diagrammatic cell is in the lower right corner with all the color and complexity of a future city.
I took a course in cell-biology one and in the first moments, as the biochemist started writing out the molecular processes of respiration, it hit me that the drama at a cellular level is, if anything, more intense and complicated than the goings on at our familiar human-size frame of reference. “Cell Donut” is meant to remind us that the real rewards and perils are within us already–for in the microsphere within our bodies, billions of cells are fighting, metabolizing, reproducing, and recycling with maddening vigor and ceaseless action. Also the tiny donut in the middle of the painting is a classic plain donut…an ideal symbol for national Donut Day (as opposed to some of my other dozens of donut paintings, which can often be quite baroque, phantasmagorical, or strange…or are just straight-up bagels!)
I hope you enjoy these paintings, and I also hope you manage to drop by the bakers to enjoy a well-deserved donut or two!
Note: No matter what I do, or how I try, I cannot get these paintings to display properly! It is obvious that Word Press hates me and hates my artwork, despite the fact that I have essentially been working for them for free for half a decade. I’m afraid you’ll have to click on the paintings in order for them not to appear all hideously cropped and mutilated as they look above. [sotto voce] mutter mutter…should have chosen “Blogger”…mutter, curse… “never “Fresh Pressed”… grumble grumble.