Monday, August 14, 2006

Trees with Leaves

I returned last night from a two week excursion to the Midwest. The trip had five purposes:

  1. Visit with Family
  2. Gather images and information for a new series of paintings referencing landscapes from my childhood
  3. Meet with the Director of the Margaret Harwell Art Museum regarding an upcoming solo exhibition
  4. Watch a Cardinals baseball game at the new Stadium
  5. Eat good southern BBQ and fried catfish

All went well and now I am at home again waiting to see if my mail actually “starts-up” again this afternoon, per my request (mail delivery is notoriously unreliable in Santa Fe, so I’m not holding my breath).

The family visits went well, but by the end of two weeks, I remembered why I have lived one and two thousand miles away, the last few years. They have their lives and schedules; while we (my wife, kids and I) have our own established routines as well.

I traveled “home” across the splendid Ozark Hills of my southern Missouri youth. Although, I shot a couple flash cards full of images with the digital camera, I mostly just rolled-down the windows and smelled the hills. Trees with leaves… my friend Gaelon mentioned the phenomenon a few months back and this most basic of concepts had stuck with me like a hunger craving I couldn’t feed, until this return visit to the east. It seems strange to think that these last few years, I’ve been almost exclusively surrounded by the evergreen variety of trees with their sweet smelling needles.

I didn’t however miss the unbearable humidity-fueled-heat the closer I drew to the Mississippi River. At one point I ventured further east to the hills outside Paducah, Kentucky; but I only found the Ohio River burning the region even hotter than Missouri. On August 1st, my wife and I watched the Cardinals play the Phillies in the middle of their eight game losing streak. The new ballpark is beautiful, though I’ll always miss the coliseum-like atmosphere of the old Busch Stadium.

As mentioned above, I have a December 2007 solo exhibition scheduled at the Margaret Harwell Art Museum in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. While in town, I toured the impressive two-story museum and discussed the logistics of the show. They have requested between 40 and 50 scrolls, so I am pretty excited about returning to the studio after my “vacation” to the Midwest.

On the return trip, we stopped for two days in Fort Worth to visit my friend Hank and his family. We had a great visit that I wish could have lasted longer, though I had somehow forgotten the craziness of Dallas/Ft. Worth traffic. And that's what I did on my summer vacation... - DN

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