Here we go... again! I am leaving tomorrow for three weeks'painting in Maine - my first time there, and I am thrilled. Apprehensive but thrilled; have not had the time to prep as much as perhaps I did for the journey West two months ago. But the art spirit is ready and willing to sally forth again.
I will run a few errands tomorrow morning. Then I head to Indy to visit and deliver a couple of artworks to dear friends, Mark and Lori Gabrek. I have done a 16 x 20" painting of their lake place in Brown County and have had so much fun doing it. Have not, as yet, digitized it, but will do so tomorrow and try to post.
Will hope to visit the Indiana Art Museum as well, to kick start the inspiration. Get away on Wednesday morning and stop-overs/tent camping (1) outside of Cleveland, (2) Syracuse, New York, and then (3) Gloucester, Mass, painting all the while en plein air. This places me spitting distance to Kennebunk, Maine, where I will rely on the kindness of friends to stage me for a few days while I make some day trips out to paint the environs. A paint out in Booth Bay Harbor on Wednesday next week, then the Slam Dunk: a week painting on the legendary Monhegan Island eight days, from Friday to the following Saturday.
It has been a busy week. We closed SS! THE TAMING OF THE SHREW with Chicago Shakespeare Theater after a resounding four-week success of their new program "Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks". It's free! Underwritten in part by Boeing, the production traveled to eleven park districts and hosted an average of six to seven hundred theater-goers each performance; seems to me the largest capacity was something over 950. It was an absolute joy in which to participate. I even committed myself to completing a series of twelve paintings, one for each of the parks locations, many painted from life (I would arrive an hour or two ahead of the rest of the cast) or from a combination of rough sketches and photo references. The series, when complete, might gain legs as there may be an opportunity for exhibition down the line. Especially cool for me was meeting Mayor Rahm Emmauel when he visited the production in Garfield Park.
In typical fashion, I heard he was there, and just before the performance commenced, marched right out to the center of the lawn where he was seated in lawn chairs with his wife, and shook hands. It was not until later, during the performance, that we all espied from backstage the several (subtle but heavily-armed) members of the security team watching him intently from every vantage point. I am guessing I made an appearance on their wireless: "yep, got him, Shakespeare actor, costumed - are those Pumpkin Pants he is wearing! - aggressively approaching..." (wondering what code name they used for the mayor during this performance: "bard" maybe) "aggressively approaching 'Bard I'... keep an eye on the Pumpkin Pants...." Over.
Anyway, a great success. The production was put to bed on Sunday after four weeks, some twenty or so performances, thousands of people in attendance, many new to Shakespeare, perhaps even to the concept of live, professional theatrical presentation. Wow.
So, a week to get ready for this trip. On Monday, I met with the owner of the new Fiat dealership which celebrated their Grand Opening on Thursday. I had done, on spec, two 18 x 24" paintings of Fiats against a backdrop of rural America (my reference photos from outside of New Harmony, IN came into service in a big way), as well as a grove of trees as backdrop, through which a beautiful Fiat has just passed. The owner liked them very much.
The balance of the week was spent peddling other artworks that I have completed during my brief honeymoon period with Lincoln Park these past five or six weeks. At right is a tremendous home, the owner of which I met only yesterday as he now considers purchasing. I suggested we could waive the purchase price if only I could have the home on time-share two weeks out of the year and that I would need additional parking space for my new Fiat - as of press time, my call has not been returned.
Anyway, welcome back and see you soon! Ciao, baby