Thursday, September 15, 2011


The writer should never be afraid of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention. 
Flannery O'Connor

My encounter with this old man would have fit right into a Flannery O'Connor story. (well, maybe not the gruesome parts)
I was visiting a friend on a hot August day. We passed the time together with me following her on her various rounds of the day. After we drove to a spot where she had tomatoes and squashes growing, inspected the weeds and picked a few vegetables, and as the day became ever warmer and stickier, we had to visit her old friend. I do not know how she had his acquaintance, but she introduced me as "the artist who is going to draw your portrait. "
He immediately found his antique hat to strike a pose. This hat was really old, like a beaver pelt hat from Abraham Lincoln days. I was more worried about how hot it was on his head as we were all dripping and sweating and he had his long sleeved shirt buttoned up. He sang old songs to me, and generally acted like a charming gentleman with lady visitors to entertain.
I think about the truth of what I see and I stare and I try to convey that moment in my work.