Thursday, April 17, 2014

I am back in the studio after attending the Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival in The Woodlands(Houston), Texas last weekend.  What an adventure!  One highlight of the weekend was selling two oil paintings to Adrian Peterson, the NFL Most Valuable Player for 2013.  He plays for the Minnesota Vikings and, having been raised in Texas, he has a home in The Woodlands in the off season.  He bought the Creme Daffodils painting featured in my last newsletter and a brand new, tulip still life. 
Tulips in a Vase, c. 2014, 12" x 9", oil on panel, by Charlene Marsh, SOLD

The drive home was insane.  Eighteen hours straight – an hour longer than the drive down.  I had to drive through a torrential deluge from Texarkana to north of Memphis (about six hours) and then it settled down to just plain 'ole rain for the next six hours.  The last couple of hours (from the new I-69) was in a heavy, blowing snow.  Yes!  Snow!

The new I-69 has absolutely no services at all and I made sure to gas up near Evansville before turning onto it.  I think there were only two vehicles on the whole route.  The drive from my house to Evansville used to take over three hours on two lane roads but it only took me two hours on the new I-69 which is not even complete yet.  Still two lane roads from Bloomington to the Crane Naval Base where the new I-69 begins.  And, of course, two lanes from my house to Bloomington.

But the scariest part of the trip was in the stretch between Houston and Texarkana on Highway 59 (a four lane road with 75 mph speed limits and driveways with direct access). I was in the northbound passing lane when a semi trailer came across the median, through the grass, and came barreling south, down my lane, aiming for a head on collision!   Of course, I managed to get over before that happened.  I have no idea what happened to cause him to cross the median.  I called 911 and got passed off four times before reaching someone in the right county.  

This is the first time I have been to Texas and it is beautiful!  The wildflowers were all in bloom along the highway and made for a gorgeous drive.  I stayed with a lovely host family in their beautiful home in The Woodlands where a magnolia tree was one week from blooming.  The weather was comfortably, balmy and warm.  Most pleasant.  A wonderful change for the ongoing chilly spring we are having here.  A little rain on Sunday morning did not hamper or slow down the show.  In fact, my sales were best on Sunday!

I am looking forward to returning to Texas to do the Cottonwood Art Show in Dallas in a couple of weeks!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Great Blue Herons

I had to run into Bloomington today to pick up paintings from the Venue Gallery to take to my next show.  I was sitting at a stoplight near the College Mall when I spotted a Great Blue Heron flying overhead.  Seemed so unusual to spot one over the city like that!  They are so elegant and exotic and very distinctive with their curved neckline and long legs trailing behind.  I always think that seeing one is very auspicious.  Then, while walking in the forest later in the afternoon, I spied another one flying overhead!  Two herons in one day!  Most auspicious! 

The heron is one of my totem animals.  After all, the heron is a wader bird, king of the marsh!  Herons represent self determination and self reliance.  Heron people follow their own path and have a seemingly unstructured life lacking stability and security.  Heron people have a variety of skills that they can call upon and use to their advantage.  Heron people are unique and non-traditional and must listen to their own intuitive understanding to determine their best path rather than listen to "logical" advice from others.  Heron people need a wide range of skills and knowledge to stay interested and engaged.  The world is wide open to be explored!

The legs of the heron symbolize balance and independence as they balance on one thin leg while stalking their prey in shallow and deeper waters.  The heron, a lone hunter, must be able to stand on it's own.  Even though it's legs are thin, they are sturdy enough to support and sustain the heron.

As I prepare to start my show season with my first big show of the year in Houston, Texas next weekend, I take comfort in the message from the herons.  I have butterflies in my stomach as I feel both fear and excitement.  I have never been to Houston, never even been to Texas, and have never been to this show.  So much potential - potential for good and potential for problems.  But the herons remind me that I am up to the task, with the help and grace of God.