All things considered
Just got back from the Grand Canyon for the Celebration on the Rim, but first a commercial break. There are signs everywhere. I'm not talking about end of the world kind of signs, just the odd little cottage industry roadside footnotes that no one ever pays any attention to. They advertise the oddest things. "I'll buy your house for cash!", written in magic marker by maybe a 5th grader. Nothing says trustworthy businessperson like a magic marker sign. Sure kid, you can buy my house, how much for a dixie cup of your lemonade and what's the APR?. So, I was driving up Lee Road toward the on ramp to I-4 and there was a little white sign with black letters that said "Brazillian $25 call 407-555-whatever".Why I didn't stop and get a picture, I don't know. Now, they weren't selling South Americans because if they were, that would be a pretty good deal, unless their product was octagenarianish. No, they were selling a kind of wax job where the woman gets her, ummmmm, well the girls remove ahhhhmmmm, they have this hot wax and use it to.... emmmmm, just try to imagine a small deforested island in the ocean but only the ocean is a woman. I guess it just struck me as funny because A) What idiot woman would call that number thinking, you know, it was a pretty good sounding deal and B) What idiot person would think that any right minded woman would even think to call a roadside number stuck in the dirt to have her front lawn removed. Used to be when times were tough, the first thought was, "I'll go get me a job in a coal mine or building a dam for the New Deal". Now it's, "I know, I'll set up a drive-through depilatorium for women". It's just a different time, I guess.
The Grand Canyon. I got schooled by the Big GC and the people who really know how to paint it. I get now why these events are more regional as far as invitees go. Most of the artists looked at me like a puppy hearing a new sound and said, "You're from Florida? Why....." and then they just looked at me like I was a plate of spam squares, or the other thing I got was, "Did you drive?" Why the hell would I drive from Florida? It's like 2 light years away? But, in order to paint this kind of thing, you really have to have this kind of thing in your back yard. Canyons? We are fresh out in Florida. There was the one in the Bithlo WalMart parking lot last year but they in-filled it with cement. Coming from a land of flat with little opportunity to see anything more than 1/8th of a mile away... painting there was tough. But, of course, fun.
I did one or two that I felt good about, in fact, at the end of the week, I looked at my 10 paintings and felt a few more chest hairs under my shirt. Until I saw Josh Beens and Bill Cramers work. I felt like I just got brazillianed. Josh did 20 in a week, and half of them were 24x24 or so. Most of them were without major flaws, all good. Kids these days. I was really impressed... The event was run like a steel drum. Tight. Well thought out, the venue was a period house built near the Bright Angel lodge about a hundred years ago on the edge of the rim.
And about that rim, being from a land where our Mount Dora has an elevation of 180 feet above sea level.... standing anywhere near the rim of that amazing place almost always required a change of undergarments. Guys like Bill and Josh were painting inches from sudden death. Not me. I chose the comfort of the places where it was safe for 3 year olds.
Gotta run. More later, must get pizza.