Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Inspiration of Helen

Have you ever seen that commercial where this young man sees his life flash forward in 15 seconds? Well, I wish I could figure out a way to share my own version of that with you here-but oh, well-we will just have to settle for a story and some pictures, :)

But first-don't you remember when summers were full of long days with your face turned up to the sun,sitting on that tire swing under a huge tree-the drone of locusts buzzing; what little there was of a breeze lifting the damp hair from your face? And one of the best sounds of the day was of the icecream truck winding it's way down your street?

Oh, to have those days back.....

"Where have you been?" you ask. Let's see,where to begin....

I should probably go back a little, maybe about four years ago now, I think. I have this dear friend who has three little boys and she lives down the street in another part of the neighborhood. She is a beautiful, kind person and is a professional photographer by trade. One day, she invited me over to her grandmother's pool which is about a block away. Of course,the girls and I were thrilled to have a place to swim.

This was how I met Helen.

Helen is my friend's grandmother, and is quite an amazing person. Beside the fact that she will be turning one hundred this year, which is incredible in and of itself, she is funny and clever to boot. And of course, we immediately fell in love with her. My daughters and I treasure the summers because we know we will get to see Mrs. Hauser and have some fun splashing in her pool. I often times will take along my art stuff and paint while the kids swim.
Her pool is such a calm and beautiful place to reflect and get centered again. We don't get to enjoy it often with our busy schedule, and I treasure these times very much.
Two years ago, Helen and her family made the landmark decision to share the bounty of their orchards and vineyards with the people of Gettysburg, and they constructed a spectacular winery.
I am not exaggerating at all when I make the statement that it could rival and possibly surpass any similar operations on the West Coast.
It boasts a gorgeous view and the luxe interior of the tasting room transports you instantly into an atmosphere rich with the aroma of the fine wine and hard cider they have become so well known for.

This is where my story begins with Hauser Estate Winery (and explains what I have been busy doing for the past month.....) As part of "giving back" and strengthening their bonds within in the community they recently started to display art work from local artists. I am honored to say I have been invited to hang some of my art work for the month of August in their Tasting Room on the square in Gettysburg.
(Do you think I caught these tourists by surprise as I captured this photo?) I can't imagine a more fitting personal thank you and tribute to Helen, the "grand matriarch" of the Hauser Estate in all it's splendor. How fitting to be able to share some of the paintings I completed while enjoying the lovely surroundings of Helen's backyard.
I can't tell you how honored I am to have this opportunity. I am a self taught artist and I know I will never aspire to anything more than this, but still, it is something that I had written down on my "Bucket List" of things to do in this lifetime. So in all my recent spare time , when I haven't been taking care of my family, or been at the barn with my rescued, retired DC Police horse, or spending afternoons in a summer marketing job with a cyber charter school, (or mornings innkeeping at a lovely local B&B), I am painting like a madwoman, lol!

I thank the Hauser Family for their kindness and support in allowing me to realize this very special moment in time. They will be participating in "First Friday" on August 6th-sponsored by the Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association. Each month Gettysburg businesses join forces to offer special events and refreshments. Approximately 25 businesses throughout Historic Gettysburg participate by hosting special receptions, guest artists and authors, sales and later business hours (until 8:00pm).

As part of the First Friday at The Hauser Wine Shop located next to 17 on the Square, there will be music by Sharon Knowles of Fynesound, and light hors'doevres provided by the Fairfield Inn. I would be so honored if you would mark your calendars and come out to celebrate all that is wonderful about summer with me on August 6th!!!! I realize my work is very naive, some will say it's primitive, but I promise you will be viewing a lot of my passion and heart that has gone into these pieces.....

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