And me without my eyeliner

(NFS)Mint Hill Market 8 x 10" oil on archival Carton Board

I  look like a snake when I don't wear eyeliner.  So I never leave the house without some indication of where folks should gaze when looking me in the eye. Ever.  Except.

Except when I strike out first thing in the morning to paint a  street corner, a field or store front in Mint Hill.  Besides no makeup, I bypass the shower, do only a quick pass with a toothbrush, and prop myself up with a liter of coffee.

As it turns out, that's when I have the most interesting encounters.  I love that so many want to stop and chat, not caring that I look and probably smell like a ho-bo.

While painting the Mint Hill Produce Stand, a handsome African-American gentleman introduced himself. He was John Lee Huff.  We share a middle name! "I haven't seen anyone painting out on the streets since I lived in Greenwich Village.  Back before the Hippies, during the beatnik times."
We talked about New Orleans, good food and his artist friend who paints portraits just outside of Dillard's at SouthPark.

QuickStop 8 x 10" oil on archival Carton Board

The owner of the gas station, a Hindu man, came out to 'investigate' what I was doing.  I'm sure it was a language issue,  but he stood wordlessly watching me just scrape my palette of dry paint.  A couple of times I had to ask him to scoot over just a bit so that I could reach the canvas.

"Grrrr.."I thought, "I'm working here." (use  Midnight Cowboy Rizzo voice).  After a long time, he left to get back to work.

Twenty minutes later, he returns holding 2 big white plastic bags.  "Umbrella, water bottles, tote bag, cups.  For you."

All Education Lottery paraphernalia.  But how kind. Even when my thoughts weren't.

A Good Manicured Lawn 8 x 10" oil on board

My husband, Tom says, "Quit going into people's houses!  Please."  I understand that caution, really I do.  But after seeing me paint, I think folks feel compelled to show me some woodwork, drawing,  or even their renovated home.  I love sharing in their creativity.

The fellow that lives in this house invited me in.  His wife is from England.  His big brown lab clearly ruled the roost, reminding me of Blue.

House by the Road, 8 x 10" oil on archival Carton Board

The owner of the wonderful Mint Hill eatery, Irene's Place, checked in.  So did the English lady (see above).
The Oldest House, 8 x 10" oil on archival Carton Board

I always get a little history lesson.  THIS it appears is the OLDEST house in Mint Hill.  That is according to the daughter of the 90-year old man who still lives here.  She brought her daughter out with her (maybe 13 years old).

The Oldest House II, 8 x 10" oil on archival Carton Board

And then I learned that THIS is the other OLDEST house in Mint Hill. The Oldest House Wars Begin.

Mowing Day8 x 10" oil on archival Carton Board
Painting this under a canopy of trees, a lovely gentleman drove by to tell me that the land I was standing on was once the location of his family homestead.  The Hill family, I learned have been part of this community for many generations.

I'll keep doing this.  I'll meet the whole town.   And no one will recognize me when they see me with eyeliner.

Other landscapes that clearly, are not Mint Hill, but will be included in September Ciel exhibit :
The Salt Life, 8 x 10" oil on archival Carton Board

9x12, oil on Board

Year-Round Beach House, 9 x 12" oil on archival Board


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