(This view is the exact opposite direction from the one I painted from up here on my last visit in January. It was reproduced in the blog titled "Painting at Ceago Vinegarden".)
Standing above the courtyard I witnessed people's reactions as they arrived. There were loud "Oohs!" and "Wows!" as they got their first view of the field in full bloom. Many headed right for it. Others paused at the fountain, which splashed seductively in the heat, to take photos of each other. Soon the courtyard was filled with friends and families seated at tables eating the fresh salad, grilled sausages and handmade tortillas.
A photographer, Ron Kees, found me and took some pictures of me at work. He told me that his paintings of Barack Obama had recently been featured in the New York Times.
"Art about, art about art." I commented, referring to the fact that he was photographing me making a painting of Jim Fetzer's creation.
" Life doesn't make a lot of sense unless you can create something beautiful to pass on to the next generation." he responded.
Around sundown I joined the dinner guests in the back courtyard. The Ceago Estate Lamb Gyros prepared by chef Nick Hiedeman from a lamb Jim had slaughtered on Monday was, hands down, the best lamb I've ever tasted and so tender it seemed to melt in my mouth.
A live Salsa band, Orienta, performed in the main courtyard until late into the evening. I chatted with some of Jim's childhood friends. We all paused to savour the lavender infused cake with macerated strawberries and lavender blackberry cream.
"Life" someone observed, "doesn't get much better than this."
( In early October I will be exhibiting my complete 'Ceago Series' at Ceago.
The entire series of these paintings may be viewed on this site in the Ceago Series 2007- 2009 Gallery on this Site.
To receive announcements to this and other exhibitions e-mail me at [email protected] with "add me to you e-mail list" in the subject line.)