Kermit has a special place in my heart growing up and now that touches me deeply. Loving Sesame Street when I was young, and being the perfect age for the Muppet Show and the the Muppet Movies, Jim Henson’s Kermit as the bandleader for all the Muppets taught me much how to be a good person and successful human being in every way, giving back to the world to make it a better place, and to assume a queer positive role in terms of masculinity that could still be sensitive and compassionate but strong without having to perform in negative macho heteronormative gender roles of the John Wayne stereotypes we had in my generation growing up.
This is part of the famous scene in the 1977 Muppet Movie when after being inspired by the Dom Deloise Hollywood Agent, Kermit sets forth upon his bike to get out of the swamp and take his talents to Hollywood to make “millions of people happy”! It was a magic moment in cinema, where everything seemed “real”, the Muppet had no strings, and miraculously could ride a bike through a on location environment, therefore the story seemed real, and the ideology behind it. Truly this was a scene that helped me believe in myself and talents to set forth the journey of my creative life!
I surreptitiously signed my name in the patterned blanket covering the banjo in his basket, as I feel this character and world view has biked me safely into the future, like E.T. In his bicycle basket when he was being saved. Whatever anxieties or troubles I had in my life while painting I synaesthetically painted unconsciously into the swamp, wanting it to come apart in surreal figurative abstractions, like in a Joan Mitchell or Gaugin painting (or the murky beauty of Newcomb Pottery glazes of the late 19c New Orleans women pottery school who had their own swamps to contend with!).
But Kermit is riding confidently and optimistically right past the melancholic dream world of the swamp into a positive future, as I’m peddling as fast as I can as a teacher and as a painter, and in my life!