Saturday, September 11, 2010

1John 4:8 ---at Dragon*Con

“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”--1John 4:8
My paintings at Dragon*Con
If you set up at an art show, then you know what a tiring strain it is when you carry in your product, hang your art, set up your table, smile for the entire show, and then tear it all down. Most of us artists do this by ourselves.
So I went to the Dragon*Con art show, I arrived on Thursday morning, I got set up and on Friday morning I got a phone call that my sister Judy passed away from cancer. I changed my flight out to 4:40pm on Monday to make it home for the funeral on Tuesday morning. Since I couldn't make it out earlier, I did the next natural thing which was to set up and sell,

and not say a word about what had happened.

That lasted until 10am on Friday (I got the call at 7am) when Peter David asked me, “how's it going?” I replied, “I've been better...” so of course that sets off a conversation in which I tell about what happened.

Peter had the greatest idea, which was to buy Judy something and place it with her for her journey Home.
I love to go on missions and this set the compass in my mind on a whole new heading.
Judy loved the TV show, “N.C.I.S.” and I found/bought an N.C.I.S. badge which I clipped on Judy's lapel and she went Home as an N.C.I.S. special agent.
St. Peter and the gang will smile at that.

So my neighbors at the art show on my left side, Chris and Irene Gessler, saw the badge and asked me what it was for, so I explained what happened.
After much hugging, Chris and Irene made it their mission to watch over me and gave me bottles of water, snacks and breaks. They create great, unique wire-wrapped jewelry. Chris and Irene also had great fun watching me keeping eye contact with the female customers who squeezed their voluptuous bodies into corsets (I was always sitting down when these customers thrust up themselves to my table )
clockwise from lower left: Chris, Irene, Kate

Chris and Irene bought me dinner Sunday night and I met their friend Kate Lebherz-Gelinas. Chris and Irene told Kate why they were buying me my dinner and Kate decided to cheer me up with a story that lasted for 3.5 hours. Kate as it turns out, is one of the best storytellers, ever. Kate told a story of, “How a Red-Devil Condom Cold-Cocked a Commander” of a nuclear submarine! I can't tell it, but if you meet Kate, ask her about it and if she wants to tell it, be prepared to laugh for about four hours (sadly, I got the short version of 3.5 hours).

My neighbors on the right side were Celena Cavala and her husband Martin Obakke, they create fairy sculptures and print a fairytail newspaper about their sculpted characters named The Filigree. They found out too and offered to watch my table (and sold a couple prints when I left for a lunch break).Martin and Celena
Then there was the mother & daughter team: Ilse and Suze Spuijbroek, two great women from Holland who I met at my hotel and then found out that they were two tables away from me at the art show.
We had breakfast together and Suze (an animator in Holland!) and I talked at length about drawing, painting and of course animation. I can't think of a better conversation and hopefully we'll find time to draw next time we meet. As I was leaving the show to go to the airport they taught me the Danish word: “STYRKE” I hope I spelled it correct. They described it as meaning heart strength. It's a strong word from women with strong hearts.
Ilse and Suze

I hadn't met these people before,
I also had friends I knew before this show like:

Veronica Jones and her husband, Jeff were located in the center of the room, they walked by Friday and Saturday about suppertime to get money from me so I would buy myself supper.

Heather Krieter, I have known for over a decade she created “My Lil' Demons” and she offered to drive my framed pieces to and from Atlanta. Heather is the type of friend who can shoot a glance from across the room that says, “Don't worry, I've got your back.”.Heather

Finally there is Meg Lyman who was called to the show last minute and filled up a large booth and table with her franchise of Cephalapod art. She was totally professional meeting & greeting folks and was selling out by Monday morning. Meg found time to talk, hug and be
just be there inbetween her sales.
Hopefully we'll do more drawin' at the next convention.

Rats!, and I didn't mention John & Anne Parise and the support of the staff of the art show. John & Anne didn't blink an eye when I mentioned leaving early, and they wanted to know why I was staying until Monday morning.

This is a self indulgent post, however I think it needs pointing out that though the art scene can get a bad rap (the artists have mountainous egos, and artists love be showboats), there is this side you don't see. This side with unending sensitivity, kindness, and love...

or in one word, God.
“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”--1John 4:8

1 comment:

  1. Oh Mike, I'm so sorry to hear about your sister. I too know how artists can be pictured as self-centered and vainglorious, but I think we experienced the love and caring nature of fellow artists in our time together at the Art Institute, and you still have my love as a brother in this dark time. Your sister will never truly die as long as she lives on in the hearts of others. Take care my friend.