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!

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