As I write this, on the coldest night of this snowiest winter, this little creek is frozen solid.
It flows just a few feet from our log cabin front porch
and all that magnificent autumn color has settled onto the forest floor.
The rods and reels, vest and fly boxes, weathered wicker creel and landing net,
which my brushes spent hours studying and rendering, have all been packed up
along with the finished painting, and sent north to the gallery.
Now I wait.
For this painting was a commission.
The fisherman found his way to my work, and told me his story.
Then, with a hearty hug and a healthy dose of trust, he said goodbye to his gear
and we dodged the vineyard raindrops, loaded it all up and drove back here to the studio.
I love to do commissions because,
beyond the familiar draw that compels me to the subjects I choose to paint,
there is the lure of listening for someone else’s connection to an object or a place.
For this project, there was the added challenge,
even though I live a pebbles’ throw from this creek,
of not ever having been a fly fisherman.
But, after painting every tiny hair on all those flies I can honestly say…
I am thoroughly… hooked.
This fisherman has requested to see no image of the work
until he can stand in person before it.
I can only hope that I have captured a hint of the grace,
of the peaceful sport and of the gentle man.
For tonight, I write these notes, while I await …
the The Presentation.
And yesterday, at the gallery…
And this morning, the creek which modeled for the painting last fall was displaying another kind of beauty…