Archive for May 26th, 2009

FarmerI’ve just put the final details on a couple of paintings that will be part of my solo show at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.  The show opens June 12th and I’m scheduled to deliver the work to the gallery a week before so I’m in the final stages of preparation.  This is my tenth one-man show at the gallery and before that I did two shows as part of a group of painters from the Corning , NY area that was dubbed the Finger Lakes School.  

I particularly remember one moment from the first show with that group.  There was a pretty good crowd and several of us from the group mingled, answering questions and such.  I had a small break in the conversation and I heard a female voice from behind ask her companion where we were from.  Her friend answered that we were from the Finger Lakes region in New York.  He  said it was a pretty rural area with a lot of wineries and farms.

“Well, you know, they do look like farmers,” she replied.

I think I did a spit take.  Over the years I often think back to that lady’s comment and sometimes laugh.  Maybe we shouldn’t have all worn our overalls and straw hats that night.  It just reminds me how people judge others by that initial glimpse and how often  they end up being wrong.  Actually, I’ve come to the conclusion that, in the end, I would prefer being mistaken for a farmer than an artist anyhow.  Offhand, I can think of more positive attributes for the farmer.   So, if you can make it to the opening look for the guy who looks like a farmer…

That brings me to a song, You Can’t Judge a Book, that was originally written by blues great Willie Dixon and made popular by Bo Diddley.  My favorite version was from Long John Baldry, one of the pioneers of the British blues/rock movement in the early 60’s and a guy who had real panache, but I couldn’t find a version online.  But while searching I came across an interesting jazzy version of the song from Ben Sidran.  Give a listen  and enjoy…

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