Friday, November 14, 2008


Salem, Conn., Nov. 11. Oil, 10x20

I've always had a thing about the number "11."

It's been my favorite number, all these years.

So often, when I look at the clock, it's 11:11. I don't go looking for 11:11 - I just glance at the clock, and there it is.

A friend of mine even wrote a song, "11:11," about me and the number.

And so, every year on Nov. 11, I expect big things. Since I'm such a pollyanna, I always start out expecting something wonderful to happen. This will be the day I'm discovered by ... well, when I was a kid, it was a movie director. Later, a book publisher. Later, my husband-to-be. Later, a newspaper publisher. These days, a major gallery.

As the day wears on, and the wonderfully momentous thing doesn't happen, I inevitably begin to get paranoid. If something wonderful isn't going to happen, then surely something horrible is out there waiting for me. I will die in a car wreck, find I have cancer, run over someone's dog.

This year, as with so many 11-11's past, nothing much happened, one way or another. I set out to paint (believing, of course, that I was destined to paint the greatest painting I've ever painted). I headed to Salem, where there's a row of New England white municipal buildings I've been itching to paint. Turns out the time to get them is afternoon, not morning.

So I drove around, looking and looking. In the end, I saw a field with a cool tree, and a safe place to pull off the road. It was a cold, cold, cold morning in the shade and the wind, and I wasn't dressed for it. But I painted, 11-11, waiting for a miracle.

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