Friday, August 7, 2015

Wet Paint, Polka Dancing and a Grand View!

Went to spend a couple of days with my Dad in Richfield, Utah and we had such a good time.  Saturday morning, we got up and got "spiffied" up cuz I think we're probably going to Ace for our favorite biscuits and gravy.  Sure enough - dad's got on his purple button up shirt and he looks great!  The young gal who serves up the biscuits knows my dad well.  "Well good morning Mr. Griffin!" as she takes his arm and walks him around to his table.  "The usual today for you and your daughter?"  Dad grins, "You betcha!" Good stuff, indeed.  Mental note:  it's going to take probably 6,000 steps to burn off this gravy.  
My dad, Bill Griffin, age 88, and his baby girl off for biscuits and gravy!
he's kinda into selfies, ya know . . . 

"Shall we stop at K-Mart and check your blood pressure?"  "Yep, just as well.  Pull right up there to the front the no-parking red zone! that's where we always park - we'll be just a minute."  I do as I'm told and do, indeed, get a couple of glares, but no worries.  Dad knows right where to go.  Slides his arm into the cuff.  146/92.  He looks at me.  "That's pretty good, ain't it?"  I said, "Not bad at all."  Somehow, this dictates if he's going to feel good or bad for the day.  I said "I think you'd probably be able to do a little dancin' with Molly Brown at the Polka Party!"  His step quickens just a bit as we head back down the aisle back to the car.  Out the doors, the car's still there.  Whew.  Dodged that bullet!  

Back home in his easy chair, he manhandles the remote control and gets us to RFD-TV.  Oh boy.  We made it just in time for the polka party!  My Dad smiles as the music starts up and we watch those people dance.  He's in heaven as his mind is flooded with memories of wonderful times dancing with my mom, playing his own accordion and making people happy.  I'm reminded again, as my Dad tells me almost every time we talk on the phone, "Honey, slow down a little bit and stop and smell the roses." Dad and I had a great day, stopping to smell the roses.  Here's a clip of Molly B's polka party!

Made me realize that life's just too short to inflict yourself with so much stress and feel the pressure to work too damn hard!  Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and do some of those things you normally wouldn't do.  One might be to take a quick dash to Richfield, or maybe take a river trip down the Grand Canyon with a bunch of your painting buddies!  Oh SNAP!  That's just what we did!  Doug was so thrilled to get invited by Cody DeLong and a dozen other great artist friends to make this trip.  They went the end of May and were gone for 10 days.  A true painting trip!  

One of the two rafts heading to shore!
6 x 8 oil on panel
They were led by the Arizona Rafting Company who provided all the meals, sleeping accommodations and the guided tour down the river.  Up first thing in the morning to a fabulous breakfast, then pack up their gear, pull out the paints and find a spot to capture a little bit of heaven with a paint brush!  Clean up, pack your stuff and ride the river for 25 or 30 miles.   

Stop, dock the rafts, pull out the paints and do it again!  He came home with about 18 little painting studies.  Here's some of my favorites!

It was the trip of a lifetime.  So many great painters, old friends and new friends!  Here's a shot of the group.  Hope I get all their names right!  

L-R:  Michelle & Bill Cramer, Doug Braithwaite, Hai-Ou Hou, Susie Hyer, Dave Santillanes, Heather Burton, Cody DeLong, Josh Bean, Rosie Sandifer, Amery Bohling and Dennis Farris.
He came home and immediately started working on some larger pieces from his studies.  Here's what he's done so far:

"A Grand View"
30 x 40
This was entered in the Union Station's "Traces of the West" Show - I think it was still wet when we took it in!  It was awarded 1st Place!  

Here's the other one - a bit smaller, but love the soft colors and the feel of the day.  Peaceful indeed.  Love. Love. Love.  

"Canyon Grazing"
18 x 24
Doug also finished a beautiful piece just before he left on his trip for some friends who live in Hawaii.  They were such fun to work with and were thrilled to take a little bit of Utah snow back to their home in Hawaii!  Thanks to Sid and Allyson for letting Doug share his talent with you!!

"A Superior Landing"
24 x 31
Enjoying a day off today and wanted to find a minute to catch you up on our happenings.  Doug's had an amazing year so far and I still need to share his great week in Drigg's Idaho with you as well!  Maybe tomorrow!  I'm going to be sitting at my company's booth at the Weber County Fair!  Compass Minerals!  Come say hi!  

I'm going to now go find some more roses to smell!  which is code for, I'm going to go put my feet up and have a beverage . . . my new favorite drink:  iced tea and lemonade . . . ba bye diet dew . . . 

Hey, just a reminder, we always welcome you to stop by the gallery and/or studio here in Sunset.  And another reminder, take time to do something wonderful for yourelf . . . we have a couple of spots left in the Torrey 3 1/2 day Workshop September 10-13.  I'm taking time off to go with Doug so I'm looking forward to it!!  Go to our website and click on workshops!  

All my best,