Updated: Apr 2
Spring in the lower right corner of the US!
St Patrick's Day!
It should be warm and sunny, right?
It was the middle of March in the 'lower right corner' of the US.
I specifically ordered 'Sunny and 72 degrees'.
I got 'Cloudy and 40 degrees', and I apparently failed to keep that receipt. Dammit.
However, the warmth of a town and its people can motivate you to freeze your toes off for 10+ hours. Big time sales, or not.
The town is Dublin, Georgia.
A town which takes its Irish heritage, and its namesake quite seriously, and the better part of two months to celebrate St Patrick, who wasn't even Irish.
I'm still confused about that.
I drove from well out of town to attend and exhibit, as did many other artists. It was my first time at this very popular arts & crafts festival. Just one of dozens of events on Dublin's Super Saturday and the months preceding.
This town knows how to celebrate. And they do so in a gorgeous downtown location with a very gentrified (that's not a bad word, is it?) town core, and the most beautiful Antebellum and Victorian-style homes along Bellevue Avenue, block after block. Turn around, and drive past them again.
They will parade around the town for over two hours (a two hour parade?). I'm guessing that's about 3 laps. Half the town is in the parade. The other half watches the parade. Such a cooperative spirit.
They will dress their dogs up in all manner of festive attire. Red wigs, artificial eyelashes, and butterfly wings are often involved. St Patrick would have been so proud.
These dogs are the true celebrities in Dublin. Ask anyone about the legendary 'Gentleman George'.
To be clear, George was not a girl, photos below notwithstanding. Confident in his masculinity, he was very tolerant of the work required to make him a true 'Irish Princess' for the day.
His best work, though, was not as a costume contestant for St Patrick's Day, but as a therapy dog. Work that he carried out all year long, not just on holidays. He had an innate sense of who needed his help, and when.
I wish I had known Gentleman George. We could use a few more like him.
But, the highlight of the show and the whole trip, for me, no doubt was this:
A very sweet girl, maybe 12 or 13, walked into my booth. I could tell that she really liked my work. She asked if I could paint a picture for her from a photo that she could provide.
I said "Sure, I would love to work with you. What sort of things are you interested in?" What are most girls her age interested in? Horses? Boys?
She then asked if I could paint a portrait of her father, who had passed away very recently.
I choked up. I was so taken aback, so sad for her, and so incredibly flattered, that I failed to get any contact info from her. I had already given her my card and I really hope that she reaches out.
This is one that I really want to do.
And I don't care if I make a penny on it.
Thanks, Dublin. I will be back.