Breakfast at Denny’s 7:30am. A “costume change” into painter’s garb – the Modigliani – and arrive 8:45am to set up for the Farmer’s Market, 9am-1pm. To the usual suspects I met last night, I bid Good Morning. Lots of people come by to say hello. I meet yet another Thomas, whose girlfriend, Julia, has completed two levels of Reiki training. Julia is giving chair massages in the park as part of the fair. I remember then that Diann will be holding a couple of Reiki sessions today in Chicago as Saturday is her day at the wellness center. She has completed her Master certification for Reiki training and is now Reiki Master. Woo hoo!
I begin painting a street scene that includes the iconic Thunderbird Motel sign; frustrated, I scrape it after an hour and a half, and begin another from a different perspective, same oil panel. This one, too, will be scraped in an hour. Feel as if I am out of whack, out of practice these four days dealing with car issues.
A woman approaches, Sonja, asks if I might consider doing a painting of her Olive Oil store with her in it; uh oh, a commission and a portrait to boot. These can be anxiety-filled. We agree to meet at her store at 4pm. I pack up at 1pm and head to the library for WiFi access and work on the blog till 3pm.
Meet in PineTop-Lakeside, city very near Show Low, maybe fifteen minutes from my idyllic, rustic campground.
Oh, and I learned today the origin of the town’s name as the fair was located around a park statue near City Hall depicting two men playing cards at a table, replete with cowboy hats, and a brass plaque at its base with the history. In 1870, C.E. Cooley and Marion Clark - two ranchers having staked out 100,000 acres conjointly, then deciding that both could not reside happily together on the massive plot – commenced a marathon card game to decide who would own the land solely. Exhausted and with a three in his hand, Clark finally stated, “If you can show low, you win.” Cooley drew the deuce of clubs, lowest card possible, and as legend has it, replied, “show low it is.” The Main Street is also named “Deuce of Clubs” in deference to the legend. And here I thought it led to a casino.
Anyway, Sonja is also a breeder and proud owner of Alpacas. She shows me several photos; suggests perhaps I do a painting of her and a favorite alpaca, “Picassol” for whom the store is named - “Picassol’s Olive Oil” - standing in front of an interior wall, the shelves of which are adorned with many several what appear to be samovar-like olive receptacles. I learn that the Alpaca is akin to the camel, of South American origin, and resembles the llama. Okay, cool. I quote her my prices, ask what she wants to spend, and decide to do a 16 x 20” at the 11 x14” price, as really it helps me out in a big way as well. Remember, I am coming off car repairs.
Safeway. Six-pack of Tecate and a deli sandwich, and I return to campsite so as to set up easel. I decide to paint smart and proceed first by making several drawings as I am using a composite of three different photo references, one of the store interior, one of Sonja herself, and one of Mr. Picassol, the alpaca. I then lay in a quick oil sketch on canvas paper that I have packed along with everything else from my studio gallery. I wash up a bit in the kitchen sink that also I have brought with me - kidding.
Confident that I have a composition, I begin. I continue painting well after sun goes down and the moon is fully lit up. No problem, I can finish in the morning and easily make the noon deadline. Even time for breakfast. Another Tecate, breathe in this beautiful night. The campsite is situated on a small, albeit beautiful, little lake. I take in and commit to memory the reflections of this new moon. To bed.