I couldn't find her. Her name had escaped me and I only knew a few things about her in our brief conversation in the artist booth. Yet her story was so impactful to me, I had to meet her again and give her something to reflect her own giving spirit. With the handful of details, there was enough of a trail to begin the search...
Some back story
I had a conversation with a woman at an art fair over a year ago. When she came into the booth, she wept when she stood before the painting "Hope." It's honoring anytime someone has a connection with one of my paintings. You realize just how big and wonderful and interwoven our lives are. The art made is not for me. I just get to drop it off while I'm passing through.
Christine (we'll call her) had never married and had devoted her life to a local community college where she housed and mentored athletes. Most of these young people came from some pretty rough areas and had their entire family's hope resting on them making it into professional sports. Some of the stories she told of their lives were uplifting, some devastating. Christine's loving heart of service was overflowing into lives each semester.
After leaving that show, I knew she had to have a full-size canvas reproduction of "Hope." I thought I had her name and email down for my newsletter. It turns out I didn't, or couldn't find it, or didn't realize I had it. Not yet defeated, I called the school's athletic department. I was shot down there. They probably questioned my motives... It was a little weird, "Hey, do you know so and so? I don't know her name." "Why?" "I want to give her something." "..."
All but defeated, one of my patrons stepped up. (Thank you patrons, you truly are the heroes here!!!) She and her husband were familiar with the area and the school. They did their own private investigative work, and with some "lucky" moments, they found her! We arranged a meeting and were able to surprise her at the school. (My patrons even drove and came along!) Here's the moment, needless to say, my heart was full that day:
Canceling Penrod this year
I'm sorry to announce my absence from "Indiana's Nicest Day." I apologize to everyone I was hoping to see there. You know who you are! :)
It is with good reason that I do so; I simply can't replace the work sold in time. That makes Autumn & Art my next show in Wichita, KS Sept. 13-15. After that, we'll visit Louisville and Houston in October.
Congratulations to the new collectors!
We spent some time in Colorado and Utah. I'm happy to report that the shows went well. It was much needed and I'm so grateful! Some amazing people went away with one of a kind works to transform their spaces.
How did they hang (or lounge)?
One of things I enjoy most is seeing where paintings end up once they reach someone's home. It's really about beautifying your spaces, making them more inspiring. Here's some included from the collector's above:
Demo as in Demonstration, not Demolition
The Kansas Academy of Oil Painters invited me to "demo" my oil painting method. It was a blast and I was able to use my super cool painting tech (thank you again patrons). The portrait sketch will be available for purchase at Autumn & Art.
It was August, therefore… birthday time
Want to get a present for anyone in my family? Your odds are really good to send it in August. Mira turned 2 and Ernest IV turned 4 (and I turned 40, not pictured... too haggard). I'm a total sap because I get emotional just looking at these pictures. Time will go on and these moments will be distant memory. There are times when I can barely stand the glorious beauty of the present moment and the immediate loss thereof. I long for the renewal of all things. Not to bring these moments back, but to be where the goodness of such moments is always present, because the one from who all blessings flow will finally dwell with us in every sense of the way it was intended.
Thank you all for reading. I'll be releasing my newest work in the next week. If you haven't yet, join a tier on Patreon and call dibs before anyone else!
Ernest Vincent Wood III