The economic news affects us all in different ways. As a painter I am getting a daily reminder of the recession. Paintings are a tough sell in an atmosphere of thread-bare budgets.
I mentioned a week or so ago that I had been awarded an artist grant by United Arts of Central Florida for which I was going to use the money to put together a show at Bennett Galleries in Knoxville TN. My proposal was to spend a week at Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains painting and photographing that area exclusively. I had hoped to get into the park in early Spring which would give me another season in my series of visits.
Then I read where the 11 mile paved loop was to be repaved and the road and the trails through the park would be closed from March 1 through late May. Today additional news comes that Senator Jim Bunning, R-Ky., blocked an extension of the Highway Trust Fund because he wanted the spending offset with cuts in other areas or with additional revenues. The Cades Cove project which was part of that package and which had started just hours earlier was halted and the workers sent home. As of now the road will stay blocked off and the park will remain effectively closed until the issue is resolved. This will certainly affect my schedule but more importantly a lot of people in the area that rely on the tourism generated by the park. I hope all this is resolved soon and a beautiful spot can be re-opened.
What's new: Outpost, oil on canvas, 16x20