PAINTINGS by Rolf Rykken
The Next Life

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"The Next Life," 2002, oil on panel, 24" x 36"

"Several years ago, when my then-wife was still with me, I was out running with our English springer spaniel at the time, Sophie, in Rock Creek Park. It was a brisk winter morning after a light snowfall and Sophie and I came upon a section aflutter with male cardinal birds. There must have been a dozen, their redness everywhere. With them, of course, were their mates.
The image stayed with me, probably because I'm partial to cardinals anyway, but I became convinced later that the sight meant something.
Was this my next life -- as a cardinal, with his mate, in the park, viewing some women from my past human life, walking their springer spaniels?
Sure sounded like a painting to me."