Archive for May 30th, 2014

9914-169 Excelsior smI call this new painting Excelsior and I showing it today in honor of  young Sriram Hathwar of nearby Painted Post who last night became this year’s co-champion in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.  We have followed Sriram’s quest for the past seven years, half of his young life.  Last year Sriram came coming tantalizingly close to his goal of victory with a third place finish but third place just didn’t satisfy his desire to be the best and over the past year he worked hard to make his dream come true in his final opportunity.  He and co-champion, Ansun Sujoe of Ft. Worth,  Texas, showed incredible composure and grace in a pressure-packed situation that would overwhelm  most adults, let alone quiet, studious 14 year olds.  Sriram even cracked a joke, saying Gesundheit after the reader spoke the word he was to spell at one point.  One cool customer.

I chose this piece to accompany this post because of its title, Excelsior, which means Ever Upward.  I thought it would be a fitting title as well as a fitting image to  illustrate a young man’s quest for excellence.  There’s a quality in this piece of basking in the moment, taking pause to reflect on the journey and all of the hard effort it required to reach this lofty point.  I hope that Sriram takes a moment to  really appreciate his accomplishment before moving on to his next challenge.  But I know that it will be only a moment because the word Excelsior  does mean Ever Upward.

Excelsior, Sriram!


This painting, Excelsior, is  18″ by 26″ on paper and will be at the Principle Gallery as part of my upcoming solo show there.  The show, Traveler, opens June 6 at the Alexandria, VA gallery.


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