Friday, December 26, 2008

Seeing the light

Autumn, oil on canvas, 12x24, not for sale.

In November, my stepdaughter Erika and her significant other, Jon, helped move the last stuff out of our home in Cuddebackville. Even though it seemed that there was almost nothing left, there was. Take an outdoor wood- or charcoal-fired grill, add porch furniture, a couple of twin beds, a small bookcase, a rocking chair, a shelving unit and various cleaning, polishing and repairing goods, throw in a wheelbarrow, a canoe, some lamps and a whole slew of gardening tools and before you know it, you've got a truck load of stuff.

Erika and Jon did it all. They found it, collected it, organized it, took it out of the house and put it in the truck - and it was a big, big job. Afterwards, they came to the opening of "A Confession of Color," the show George Hayes and I had at the Wallkill River Gallery in Montgomery, N.Y. , where I'd been working all day.

There they were, strangers in a strange land, dressed to the nines, at their first opening - after spending the day sweating, loading furniture. What troupers!

It was a marvelous experience for me to see them at their first art show. They glowed with it. To see them take in the paintings, really see them, that was worth worlds. To see them with my New York friends, people whose lives revolve around art, it was a rich night for me.

The next day, before we headed home, we pulled in to O'Dell's to gas up. Across the road stood a line of trees, the last of autumn's brilliance. Erika and Jon saw it all. They saw the trees, the cornfield, the lawn, the light, the shadows, the mountain behind. They saw that it was beautiful, and then they saw that there was a painting in it. And I got to see them make this leap.

So, this one is not for sale. It's my Christmas present to them.

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