My visit to Ottumwa, Iowa, and M & J Art & Frame Gallery was
wonderful. As I have said before, Iowans are among the friendliest,
warmest people in the world.
M & J’s gallery staff is so easy and fun to work with.
Back row, L. to R.: Peggy Grogan, Lee Ann Kjer, Jeni Harter, Anne
Arduser, and me. Front row, L. to R.: Anna Strube and gallery
owners Chris and Bill Abigt.
I was met at the airport in Cedar Rapids Thursday by
Karen Kincart and her mother Helen Sloan. They took the scenic
route to the gallery so I could see the miles and miles and miles of
corn and soybean fields that had been harvested and turned. All
that beautiful, rich, black dirt! The vastness of the fields reminded
me a little bit of Africa and all its space, nothing for the eye to
see but the horizon where the land meets the sky. It was absolutely
breathtaking and put me in the best mood for the show.
Later that evening gallery owners Bill & Christ Abigt and their
wonderful staff hosted a catered barbecue dinner for members of the
Moss Heaven Chapter of the P.
Buckley Moss Society and me. What fun and camaraderie!
The chapter dinner was catered by Bubba Q’s BBQ, and it was
the best barbecue I’ve ever tasted. Everything was so good!
I especially ate too much of the baked beans and coleslaw, because I
never fix them for myself.
Good food and happy people! Dinner with the Moss Heaven Chapter
made me feel very welcome.
I made lots of new friends over the weekend, and I was
very happy to see so many of my old friends, too.
I so enjoyed meeting the Graeff family. The children Anna,
Anu, and Arun are taking art, and it was a joy talking with them.
Dizzy the Clown (a.k.a. Desi Payne) brings comfort and joy to nursing
homes, schools, and the Ottumwa Regional Health Center with her Clown/Humor
Therapy. She was also the inspiration for my Clowning
Around print. Dizzy just stopped in to say hello
and ring her bells, which is what we do when friends come to town!
Joe and Ellen Waterbury are dear friends and the makers of the famous
dollhouse at The P.
Buckley Moss Museum in Waynesboro, VA.
The halls are all decked out for Christmas at the Museum’s
dollhouse, which has fascinated visitors for years. Thanks, Joe
Saturday night I got to meet the principal and many of
the teachers of Ottumwa
High School . Ottumwa High School is nearly a century
old and has been historically restored. The most recent renovation
was the set of gorgeous steps at the front of the building. Ottumwa
is so blessed to have that lovely school and a principal and teachers
who put so much heart, love, energy, and enthusiasm into helping their
young people learn.
L. to R.: Chris & Bill Abigt of M & J Art & Frame
Gallery, me, and Principal Steve Hanson of Ottumwa High School.
I’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving in Waynesboro,
Virginia, with almost my whole family. Everyone will be there
except my daughter Becky and her family, who live in Italy. This
year, since there will be plenty of cooks on hand, I’m going to
arrive a little later than usual and spend some time with my grandchildren
instead of in the kitchen.
The day after Thanksgiving, my daughter Patty and I will head to Mechanicsburg,
Pennsylvania, for a show with 2nd Floor Gallery. It will be my
first show with owners Jeff Van Boskirk and Tamara Gillis, and I’m
looking forward to meeting their collectors and releasing my new print
Pennsylvania Capitol Building; A Capitol of Uncommon Wealth with
them. I hear there will be a tree lighting ceremony in town Friday
evening just before the show starts, and I’m looking forward to
Capitol Building; a Capitol of Uncommon Wealth will be released
at 2nd Floor Gallery this weekend. For more information, contact
the gallery at 717-697-0502.
The weekend of November 30-December 2, I’ll be
in Waynesboro for my Barn
Show and Museum Open House. The special print for the show
is Caroling Season, which features the Afton Chapel in the
Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The little chapel on the mountain
is a non-denominational church led in worship each Sunday by a different
local minister, two Baptist, two Methodist, and a Pentecostal.
Music is very important in the church, and members provide Southern
gospel, bluegrass, traditional hymns, and other more modern selections
on the third Sunday of every month.
Caroling Season will be released at my Barn Show and Museum Open
House November 30-December 2. For more information, contact the
Museum at 540-949-6473 or 1-800-343-8643.
With My Love will also be released during the
Barn Show and Museum Open House. This very special print edition
will benefit the P. Buckley
Moss Foundation for Children’s Education, with twenty percent
of the proceeds of each print sold going to the Foundation for its programs.
With My Love will be released at the P. Buckley Moss Museum the
weekend of November 30-December 2. It will retail at $70.
I’m also excited about my new etching edition that
will be released soon. I was inspired to create this image during
my visits to Cortona, because Tuscany is where the story of Pinocchio
originated. It was written by Italian author Carlo Collodi
in the early 1880’s. Of course, most of us are familiar
with the beloved marionette through the Disney movie.
Keep posted for a release date for my Pinocchio etching.
Best wishes for a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving, shared
with family and friends. Please remember those less fortunate
and our soldiers in your thoughts and prayers.