Dead-End Road, Salem
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100
I was as lost as a person can be, 15 miles from where they live. I don't think I could find this place on a map today, but that's OK. That was the point, really.
It was getting on toward dusk, and rain was threatening when I found this little autumn lane and pulled over to paint. I doused myself with bug spray, but as evening drew closer, the mosquitoes thickened.
About an hour after I'd started painting, a big official-looking truck turned down the little road and pulled up beside me. The official-looking guys inside dropped their serious expressions when they saw me and started smiling.
They were state conservation cops, out to find people poaching deer and hunting without licenses and otherwise marauding in the wilderness. But they turned to me and said... "You know, you're supposed to have a permit for that!"
"I knew it!" I said, "I knew the art police would track me down sooner or later!"
At any rate, they were happy to see someone out innocently enjoying the woods, and we talked about painting, and Salem, and their jobs and mine, and then they turned their giant truck around and headed out.
Not 10 minutes later, the mosquitoes got so bad, I had to pick up and leave. I am still scratching today.