acrylic on 6x8 canvas board
acrylic on 8x6 canvas board
Earlier this month my cousin Debbie told me she and her husband and three boys were vacationing with her two brothers and their families and her mother in Garden City, SC and if I got a "wild hair", join them. After a decent three hour delay from the time the offer was extended I called to accept. They were going for a week and as it was a seven hour drive for me, I determined the least amount of time I could go for was two nights and one day. I really did not want to horn in on any more of their time than would take for a really good visit. I learned a long time ago everything to be said would be done in four to six hours but with the long drive, that was not possible. She seemed really delighted that I was coming and so was I.
I had not seen Debbie and her brother Ted since 1986. They both live in South Carolina and I had never met their children the oldest of which just graduated from high school and the youngest was seven! The third cousin David and his wife were coming from the Dallas, Texas area and I had not seen them since 1993. I had not see their mother, Aunt Joyce, since 1995. It was definitely time for a visit.
Recently on Facebook I had seen a painting owned by Mary Ellen Bitner that her cousin had painted. I spoke to Mary Ellen about it and said "I wish my cousins would give me a painting"! Oh, be careful what you say because I immediately realized I was the one that needed to give my cousins a painting!
So, for the next 3 days, I painted 6 canvas'. I choose the largest and most detailed for Debbie, Ted and David. Then I wanted to do something small for the 2 little girls, Annabelle age 10 and Baylee age 7, Ted's children. I did consider painting something for Debbie's three sons, ages seven, fifteen and seventeen, but I did not really have time and honestly do not know anything about the interests of young men.
Finally, David and Sally have 2 grown daughters, Kathryn just got married and Kristina who is my Facebook friend. Again, I just didn't have time so painted a wedding photo of Kathryn and her husband Mark as a type of delayed wedding thought. Sally was so excited and said Kristina would also want a painting of mine. She was joining them at the end of the week but we missed each other. Since Kristina has been my FB friend for a long time now, I kind of know her anyway, and therefore will try to paint her something special.
OK, long story getting longer - but not much. I had a wonderful time. I enjoyed visiting with each of them. I really think we have reinforced our adult selves and they are now in my heart for the rest of my life. My Aunt Joyce is a real character and we had a grand visit. I'm sure she will find a little canvas coming her way, too!
The real surprise was my cousin Ted and his two daughters. I only met Ted as a young child, he is one year older than my daughter. He became a fine man and I completely enjoyed him and his beautiful daughters. The youngest, Baylee, adopted me within minutes - or maybe it was me who adopted her company. We shared a room, stories, cooking and even traded toothpaste so we could know what each others tasted like! I had not chosen which painting was for which girl but tried to paint two of my favorite animals and not make them completely childish. I showed them both to Baylee who was completely interested and when I told her I had a painting of a pig named Olivia she asked for the pig. Absolutely, if someone wants a certain painting of mine, it is already theirs!