Gretchen by Don Boutin
2018 Cairo Bear #44
Sponsored by: Bavarian Manor Country Inn and Restaurant
Description: When I was requested to do a bear in Suzanne Oldakowski’s memory I tried to create what I thought she would enjoy. I designed a German Fraulein, Gretchen, dressed in her traditional dirndl, edelweiss in her hair and mugs of beer ready to serve. Suzanne was always ready to serve whether it be her family, customers or the community, my wife and I will be forever grateful for her friendship and love.
Stan, Suzanne’s husband and owner of the Bavarian Manor also requested me to design a bear, so in keeping with the theme, Fraulein Gretchen has a partner, Gaston. Gaston is a well-dressed German gentleman with lederhosen, hat with feather, pipe and mug. Rip Van Winkle is one of my favorite painting subjects and was also one of Suzanne’s. Rip is depicted on Gaston’s beer stein along with a popular saying from a Jimmy Buffet song, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.” To have a bit of fun and again, keeping in the German theme, the saying is written in German, or I hope it is!
About the Artist: Don Boutin is a self-taught artist whose paintings can be found throughout the area in local restaurants, golf courses and private homes. Don’s most popular work is his Rip Van Winkle series beginning with his 1998 painting for the 1st Northern Catskills Balloon Festival to the cover of the Greene County Tourism Guide to commemorate Henry Hudson’s 400 anniversary and the whimsical painting of Henry Hudson’s ship used to promote the 2009 Cairo’s 1st Bears and Butterflies event.
Don hasn’t been sleeping these past years but fortunately been busy doing private commissions. For a look at some of Don’s work check his website at www.donboutinart.com.