Yesterday was a day to crash after a somewhat hectic week, at least by my standards. It was a week filled with hurried preparation, a lot of driving, some new experiences , meeting new (and old) friends and far more talking than I am used to. By the time I finally got to stop yesterday afternoon, I laid down on the floor of my studio next to Hobie, my loving studio cat who had her nose slightly bent out of joint by my absences in the past week, and closed my eyes and quickly fell to sleep to the rhythms of Hobie’s incredibly loud purr of satisfaction. It was the most satisfying little nap I had taken in some time.
The Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery on Sunday started slowly with a smaller group at its beginning that grew and grew as the time passed until the space was crowded. That’s always nice because it seems that when the group is larger people are more liable to ask questions. They are almost a little more shy when it is a smaller group and a larger group gives them cover. But it ended up being a good talk that I think was entertaining and informative with a nice back and forth flow between us.
I know that I enjoyed myself especially when it was time to give away a few things at the end of the talk. That’s always a fun time for the audience as well as myself. It sounds goofy and even a little cheesy but I really enjoy being able to do this at my talks. I’ve said this before but it’s a small token compared to everything that I have received from doing this. Plus it’s just great to see the faces of people when they get even a small gift.
It was especially satisfying when two small girls, each no more than 9 or 10 I am sure, each took home something on Sunday. They were there with their dad and he told me that they had asked to come to the talk. The family had two of my paintings, one a large Red Tree and another from the Archaeology series, and the girls love them. One had brought a drawing she had made copying the composition of their Red Tree painting and the other, a lovely small drawing of leaves. They asked me to sign them for them and I can’t even begin to tell you how much that means to me, how much it moves and amazes me even now as I sit here.
Also, another satisfying moment came when I looked over and saw Ambassador Scott DeLisi and his wife, Leija, slide into two seats. I was very surprised since only days before Scott was still in Uganda in his final days as our Ambassador to that nation before taking retirement from a long and distinguished career in our foreign service, serving as our Ambassador to Eritrea, Nepal and Uganda along with prior posts around the globe. We have had a mutual admiration– they for my painting and me for Scott’s admirable work abroad and for Leija’s wonderful candor– for some time but had never been able to cross paths–I don’t get to Kampala on a regular basis. So to finally meet them in person was just great and I felt like I had known them for many, many years.
I am looking forward to seeing Scott’s new role in retirement as he will continue working in the private sector for efforts to improve the lives of people around the world. All the best to you, Ambassador DeLisi. Many thanks to Leija and you for taking the time to stop in on Sunday.
There are a lot more moments and stories to tell from that day as well as my workshop experience of a few days earlier but I am going to wrap this up. It was a great week, one that had way more validation than any one more person should get in that time frame. I am going to let it all soak in for a while then get back to work, refreshed by the kindness of others.