Nobody Lives Here Any More
Oil on canvas, 10x20
The 4Bridges show in Chattanooga gives the artists meals every day! This is unusual, at least in my experience. Sometimes a show will offer supper on Saturday night, but here in Chattanooga, we've had dinner Friday, lunch and dinner Saturday and, I'm told, lunch on Sunday, too. And coffee every morning.
I'd been standing in line for dinner on Friday, and talking on the phone to Peter about the Red Sox and Yankees. When I hung up, the guy ahead of me turned around. He apologized, but said he couldn't help but overhear our baseball conversation, and he was glad, he said, that I was on the right side of the debate - i.e., that I was a Red Sox fan.
We got to talking, and this artist, Ken Herrin, told me that he lives in Chattanooga and loves it here. He and his wife had been living in Oregon, and they felt life was getting stale. So they decided to move to Chattanooga.
Friends asked if they had jobs here. No.
Did they have family in Chattanooga? Nope.
Friends? Well, no.
They thought it looked like a good place to live, and so they moved, and they love it here.
I saw Ken's art on Saturday, and I just love it. We had a long talk about "pretty" art, romantic art, and how neither of us wants to make art like that. This is a conversation I've had over the years with Peter, and it is always good and reassuring to find someone else out in the world who thinks like we do.
Ken's art is sculpture made from found objects, and is funny and very interesting. And decidedly not pretty. Here are a few pieces:
And here is my painting in the landscape:
ONE OF THE very fine things about this show was getting together with Maura and Dave Ammenheuser, and meeting their children, Katie and Ryan, and Maura's dad, Jim. When I was the editor of the Carroll County Times, in Westminster, MD, Dave was my managing editor, and Maura was a reporter. We became friends out of work, and Peter and I went to their wedding and rejoiced for them. We have kept in touch, on and off, over the past 15 years, and I was delighted that they were going to come to Chattanooga.
The plan, I found out last night, was concoted by Jim, who lives in Charlotte, NC. He started reading this blog after he saw some paintings that Maura and Dave had bought from me, for their home in Nashville. When he saw I was going to be in Chattanooga, he suggested that he drive south, and they drive north, and we would all meet at the show and share the evening.
We went out to dinner after the show, to a restaurant across the street from the Chattanooga Choo Choo building, which is now a hotel and restaurant, and we had a great time. Jim was fun and engaging, Katie and Ryan seemed like great kids, and Dave and Maura were as delightful and smart as ever. It was such a treat to see them, all these years later, as parents, as a long-married couple, as people who have worked hard and lived well and built a good life for themselves and their family
THE PAWS FOR CHARITY book is out, and it is just beautiful!
This is a project I've had the honor of participating in for a few years now. Sara Harley selects photographs and paintings from artists who apply, puts together a beautiful book, and donates the proceeds to a shelter in Nova Scotia, where she lives. This year's recipient is SHAID, Shelter for Animals in Distress.
You can see a preview of the book by clicking here: http://www.blurb.com/books/
And if you want to buy a book or two, here's a discount coupon! Put this code in - P4C2014 - when you are checking out, and you'll get 25 percent off.
Dog of the Day
This cat was smuggled into a room at the hotel where I'm staying... Reminds me of a memorable trip Peter and I made, moving back from Idaho, and smuggling our dogs and cats inside hotels from west to east. This one made me laugh.