Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

Gulpha Gorge

Yes, I went on vacation (a small one) again. I went to one of my favorite places in the world, Hot Springs, Arkansas. Its one of the greatest vacation spots ever. I know it like the back of my hand, and, its close to home. What more could you ask for?

You're looking at pictures of the creek that runs through Gulpha Gorge camp ground. No, I didn't camp out. For me, camping is a miserable experience. I've never been camping when I enjoyed it. My definition of "roughing it" means staying in a hotel room with no mini-bar and no room service. I stayed at a Best Western on this trip. So, I was definitely "roughing it".

I do enjoy nature and I love the scenery around the Ouachitas so I couldn't resist a little hiking excursion. I lugged the camera along but these were the only two pictures I took at Gulpha Gorge. I had a friend with me so I was all about being a tour guide. I pointed out the amphitheatre where Jim Ed Brown hosted a "Nashville On the Road" episode when I was a kid. I commented how Jerry Clower was a real jerk to little kids. And, I was disappointed that Wendy Holcomb was older than me and didn't have pigtails when I met her.

We also toured Bath House Row. I have pictures of that I'll share someday. We went to the Mountain Tower and practiced overcoming our fear of heights (I was the brave one). That was a memorable experience. We looked out on the scenic vista of verdant forests and while we were "oohing and ahhing" a nauseous toddler threw-up nearby. It was a lovely and serene moment until just then. It really killed the mood.

We stopped by the Grotto on Central Avenue across from the art galleries. We tried to be adventurous by sampling the experience of the "oxygen bar". Hmmm, how shall I describe it? Imagine sniffing cheap air freshener while hyperventilating and then being charged $16 bucks for the effort. Its not something I would recommend. The most enjoyable part of the that deal was the friendly and attentive college-age hottie that hooked up the air supply. He was real easy on the eyes, if ya know what I mean.

Of course, the high point of the trip was the visit to the galleries. The first day there we visited Gallery Central. Good work there, but a little stuffy and sterile. We visited a new gallery featuring Allison Parsons. Allison focuses mainly on watercolors and acrylics with Hot Springs landscapes and architecture as the subject. I like her work very much. Its vibrant, brilliant, and she treats the subject with a lot of love and affection. Allison is a sweet lady and took time to visit with us about her work even though we weren't buying that day.

On Monday (Memorial Day) I was finally able to make my pilgrimage to my personal artistic shrine, Blue Moon Art Gallery. I almost ran back to the Randall Good section and stared holes into every piece on the walls. Pat and Dishongh each gave me a big hug and made me feel like family. That's why I love that place. The folks at Blue Moon not only love art, they love art-lovers. There was an artist about to bring in her work yet they still took time to visit with me. I'm the proud collector of three beautiful Randall Good drawings, but I assure you I'm not one of their biggest spending clients. But still, they treated me as if I were the most important person in the room. I was touched.

I have my eye on another drawing. It complements the Icarus/Daedalus pair of watercolors I have. Its a much larger work and I want it badly. Its a drawing of the "fallen Icarus" (or is it Daedalus weeping over his fallen son?). Its the most unique composition. I won't describe it here. We'll wait until I've acquired it. Pat tells me there has been some interest in it. But, she kindly said she would give me a call if anyone gets serious about it. I've got first dibs on it, in other words. I just love that lady.

Then, I stepped over and quietly lusted after the Debilynn Fendley drawings. What is it about drawings that get to me? There are two of her pieces that I'm in love with. However, the subject is the most beautiful, titillating male nude. I'd have a lot of explaining to do to any visitors if I acquired those. But, I'm madly in love with the pieces and almost willing to take the risk.

Simply put, Memorial Day was memorable.

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