Last week I drove down to Cannon Beach, Oregon. The gallery there that sells my work asked me to participate in The annual Plein Air festival. The timing was good,a break was needed. I packed up my art supplies, camping gear and hit the road.
I was unsure how it would all go, Artwise, as my style of painting is very different from what would be expected from a Plein Air festival. Dragonfire Gallery wanted me to paint right in the courtyard out front of the gallery. I was a little nervous as I set up the area to start painting that first morning. I asked for help “Please don’t make me look foolish” were the exact words I said to the heavens.
I had been painting for less that two hours and had set the colors on my first piece, an abstract, kind of, sort of, landscape. People had been stopping to watch, then moving on. From behind me a little voice starts to ask me a couple of simple questions. I looked back quickly, for a flash and barely notice a little girl shyly standing there. My eyes and concentration were back on the painting. A few moments later I hear her say ” I like paintings with depth”. She had me now, I turn around and really saw her, this adorable girl of about seven years old standing there watching me paint wearing the same colors in her clothing as I had just put down on my canvas. “What’s your name?” I ask her in awe…”Eilee, my name is Eilee”. I grabbed a sharpie and my still wet painting. “How do you spell Eilee?” I ask….”E I L E E” I quickly wrote ” Sunset For Eilee” on the back of the painting. We both smiled and in our our own ways felt jubilant.
I painted like a house on fire for the rest of that day and the next. It was so much fun to talk to people and answer questions about my work. In the evenings I retreated to my campsite under the tall trees, lit a cooking fire, opened a bottle of wine and wearily thought about the work done, that day and all the days. Lots of work, thousands of hours, for about 18 years. I looked at the paint on my clothes, I looked at the paint still on my hands. Would I change anything? Did I have any regrets? Nope, I Love This…