The red buds and the dogwoods added a celebration of color to our first
Barn At Home of the year. Spring in the Valley also provides a background
of many shades of green as the leaves begin to form. I love this time
when the leaves are not yet fully developed and you can still see through
the trees to landscape beyond.
The dogwood tree by the barn side entrance with visitors beyond.
On Thursday I drove up the Valley to Harrisonburg to do a recorded
interview with Richard Parker for his WVPT program, Consider This.
Thirty years have passed since my first interview with Richard and to
be on the set talking to him in front of the cameras is like talking
to an old friend over the kitchen table. The program will air on Friday
at 7:30 p.m. The following week on Consider This, Richard will
be speaking with Dell Phillpot, the Foundation's
Richard Parker first interviewed me thirty years ago.
Thank you all who came to visit me at the Barn on the
weekend. As I have said before, meeting with you is what keeps my energies
fired and makes up for the long hours spent alone in the studio. Your
enthusiasm for my work is the encouragement that every artist needs.
This was the first showing of Sharing Work and Fellowship,
my barn raising painting which those of you who have been reading my
weekly letter watched progress from its early stages to its final form.
I was happy the painting and the prints produced from it were so well
There were many three generation families among the weekend visitors.
Visitors to the Museum
this weekend found a new display on the main floor that includes forty
images not previously displayed. Visitors have a choice of taking the
guided tour given by a museum docent or viewing the paintings on their
own with the help of a printed catalog that contains an explanation
of each work and its iconography. The catalog was much appreciated and
several asked if they could purchase a copy. It was not our intention
to sell the catalog but now that we see it can serve as a reminder of
the exhibit, we will reproduce it in quantity.
I have mentioned before Roanoke College's interest in
offering student teachers of Spanish the chance to teach English in
the elementary schools of Panama. The student teachers would live in
the communities experiencing Latino culture and speaking Spanish except
when teaching. If the plan can be made to work successfully, it will
benefit both the teachers and their young Panamanian students.
The idea is progressing and among this week's visitors
were Aimee Yost and her parents. Aimee is in the class of 2005. Also
with her was Lynn Talbot, of the college's department of foreign languages
and Greg Wells, Coordinator of Tutoring and Special Services, who first
came up with the idea. Aimee and Lynn are planning to visit Bocas del
Toro in June to get a first hand look at the schools and the accommodations
for the student teachers. If we can make this program a success, I can
see it spreading to other colleges and universities and becoming a teaching
equivalent of the Peace Corps. The young of our country would be showing
the world that America does truly care.
Pat with visitors from Roanoke College. Back row: Greg Wells and
Lynn Talbot. Front row: Pat, Aimee Yost and her parents, Laurie and
Another example of generosity towards the third world
is the gift this weekend the Foundation received from Best Buy. Through
the initiatives of Society member Boo Elkins and her husband George,
who is a Best Buy representative, 266 children's computer programs will
be sent to Panama. Boo had read in The Sentinel about the thirty-two
computers donated to the Foundation for Panama by Texas Hover-craft
and the idea of the programs sprang to her mind.
Boo and George Elkins delivering the children's computer programs.
I have one painting to show you this week. I have named
it The Chosen Path. The arch above the two geese is typical
of the arches spanning the alleyways that interlace Cortona, the Tuscan
town where my daughter Becky lives with her family and where the Society
tour will visit in October. Speaking of the tour, there were far more
wanting to sign up for this trip than there was space for. I am going
to recommend to the Society
that they consider another similar trip in October 2005.
The Chosen Path is being released as a print edition.
This week I am taking time to attend to my garden here in Mathews,
visit the dentist and go to Washington D.C. for my annual physical.
I also hope to get in some painting time before next Wednesday when
I set off for Kingsport, Tennessee for the convention.
There will be a strong contingent of Virginians at the convention with
over two hundred coming from one gallery alone, Abingdon Mercantile.
There is still time to join us there. You can turn up at any time between
Friday 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. and between Saturday 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to buy
your ticket at the door. Remember you can bring two previously purchased
prints, framed or unframed, for me to sign. I will also be signing Doe
River Bridge and Pigeon Forge Mill. Doe River Bridge
will only be available to those attending the convention and won't be
available after Saturday, May 8th. Come and sample Tennessee hospitality
and join us Saturday night at our 50's party.
Until next week.