As I was standing outside of my booth today, talking to some people who were interested in my paintings, I felt a sharp pinch on the back of my knee.  I turned around quickly, and looked down- my son Liam was laughing really hard, giggling and cackling with delight.  He had come with my parents, to visit my at my exhibition at the Gallery North Outdoor Art Show, and he snuck up behind me and pinched me.  And I picked Liam up in my arms, and walked about my tent, and I spoke with dozens of different people.  Those listening were enthusiastic, and I answered questions about the making of different paintings, and where I studied, and what things were like in the prison where I taught.

Like any other artist, I dream of a day in which I can put on a large, cohesive, indoor show- a show that would be impervious to rain.  I dream of hefty sales that are big enough to cover my property taxes, a year ahead of schedule.  Today, though, people drove from sixty miles away to say hello, and see my paintings.  Some people, new to me, stayed in my booth and spoke for half an hour.  The booth was filled with life.  I had some great sales, a few great portrait commissions, and…

Benjamin Franklin said “The golden age was never the present age.”  Let the economy rise and fall, let the tide come in and out, as I held my son in my arms, and looked around at all these people, I just felt so content, so grateful, and corny as it may sound, I knew I was in a golden age.

Click here to listen to Yo yo ma on the cello, Mark O’Connor on the fiddle, and Edgar Meyer on upright bass.  Appalachia Waltz


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