Carol and I met because she's wonderful. Oddly enough, the Dalai Lama brought us together. Last May, the 14th Dalai Lama came to Rice University to speak on "The Meaning of Compassion in Everyday Life." The event sold out pretty quickly.
How often in life will one have the opportunity to walk a few blocks and hear the Dalai Lama speak? Not only that, but to speak on the meaning of compassion in everyday life? I wanted to go, but there were no more tickets.
So the amazing Reese and I started searching hourly for tickets on ebay and craigslist.
Carol posted on craigslist that she had an extra ticket, and agreed that I could have it! When I went to pick up the ticket, she was preparing for a garage sale the following day. Turns out that she had some wonderful old French garden furniture destined for the sale. Yada yada yada, and the next thing we agreed upon, was a trade of the garden furniture for a painting.
She loves the painting (and I love the garden furniture!) And I already mentioned how wonderful she is, right? When she started thinking about doing something really special for her best friend and partner's upcoming 50th birthday, she thought of me. She commissioned a painting of Star, the beloved pet of her best friend, Slade.
This is the painting that I struggled with so much this summer. One reason it was so hard was because it was a portrait (the dog,) it was a still life (the bluebonnets,) and it was a landscape. All of those aspects had to be believable in and of themselves, and had to be in harmony for the painting to work as a whole. Star's expression is what really gives the painting pizazz, though. What a happy dog. No wonder Star is such a beloved pet.
Happy birthday, Slade.
According to Carol, "Slade received the painting on Saturday night. He just loved it!"