Editor's NOTE: changed font as I have been inundated with letters-to-the-editor suggesting font white on blue was making people 'buggy-eyed and crazy.' This is a trial font only. Editor reserves right to continue to make crazy his readers....but will it be in form or content? END NOTE
Tomorrow I leave Long Lake and will arrive at Paul Smith’s College sometime late morning. This is the proposed destination of this trip. Six days, five nights at the Publisher’s Invitational, hosted by Eric Rhoads, publisher of Plein Air Magazine, among other publications. Looking forward to meeting Eric for the first time as we have corresponded a few times after learning that he is also from my hometown, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Over 100 painters from all over the country will be gathered to paint all day, all week long. I am thrilled to be participating and look forward to forging new friendships.
These three days here have been wild and eventful, albeit rainy and wet. My tent site is 25 feet from the water on Lake Eaton, maybe five minutes out of town. I learned that Sigourney Weaver lives here on Long Lake (they know her as "Susan") and has for a long time. I have met some very cool and wonderful people. The first morning I was here, I went in search of wifi and found it within a mile of the campground at a Mobile station where I had the pleasure meeting my new friend, Rachel, a philosophy student from Ohio. She pulled a book out from her bag, turning me on to French philosopher Jacques Derrida and then expounded on some of his thoughts and principles. This is a bright young woman. How exciting, I thought, to be in the bloom of intellectual pursuit again.
Derrida was accorded the title 'originator' of deconstruction. I think it's interesting that part of the agenda for me on this plein air adventure with regard to painting and application is investigating the process of 'build it and destoy it,' deconstruct it; building layers of paint, sometimes impasto, then scraping it, and going in again with further layers, repeating the process so as to promote a perceived richness of depth and form.
A fellow trackster (she also runs cross-country), Rachel is here working three jobs for the summer with her fellow runner and friend, Mel, whom I also met this morning. We took up Rachel’s entire one hour break from work talking about art and philosophy and track and religion and anything that sounded fun. I regret that mine is such a brief stay that we might have spent more time together.
Out and about painting next day, on the bridge leading in to town, several people stopped by to say hello. One young fellow, Arthur, coming from his baccalaureate, chatted for awhile and then he suggested that he lead me in the car to investigate two possible painting locales, in which gear would have to be portaged through some hiking trails but the summit promised to provide a panoramic view of the entire area and lake. I was going to try for sunrise this morning but, of course, it was raining.
So, it looks like I am down about ten pounds or so since leaving DC. Which is actually all right by me so far. And I haven’t been running daily as in DC, though I do hope to work out every day at the college this week as there is a fitness facility available to us. I have really only been eating one meal a day and I eat at least four or five other times, snacks, lots of nuts and trail mix, protein and granola bars and… yes, some pop tarts; had bananas for breakfast today. And Pixie Stix. Kidding. Another ten pounds and I am within college weight. (He didn’t really just write “only another ten pounds,” did he? Gimme a break).
Yep, through college and most of grad school I was at 155, my pole vaulter weight. If I can find it I will post a photo from high school, competing at Regionals which I won with a jump of 14’6’. The newspaper caption reads something like “a contented look on his face.” I went on to place at State the following week with a jump of 15’ which bested the previous high school vault record by two feet – the record has stood some thirty-plus years, happily it was tied two or so years ago, I had wished it had been broken. In with the new, say I. Ay.
Just ten more pounds, college weight (this guy, delusions, I tell you, delusional). Actually, during the Invitational, we are given three-square a day and I wont be in a tent so I have every confidence the ten pounds shall come back with a vengeance, ha.
Funny, I was just talking to someone couple of weeks ago about how people negotiate the triad of past, present and future. I have always had an image of having my feet firmly planted shoulder-width apart, the left representing a respect for where I have been in the past, the right slightly ahead and pointed straight-away, not unlike the stance in fencing, I suppose, with a focus on the future, both feet simply balanced and straddling the present moment.
Before leaving the area of Long Lake, I drove to Buttermilk Falls where the crazy-raging waterfalls are out of this world amazing. I also auditioned for a local theater production and got the part on the spot; it's cool, Sigourney Weaver is playing Gertrude, I will be playing Hamlet. Cast List went up, Rachel is Ophelia (she is gonna be so surprised) and Arthur is playing Horatio, which is so obvious, but I'll need to email him to tell him he's in and to check the list, initial his acceptance of the role. Here is the promotional photo from their season brochure as well as some other images from the past couple of days.