|Schuman Farms, oil on canvas 9x12|
After many years of declined invitations, I gave in this year when my brother-in-law asked again. On Friday evening, I picked up my 18 year old nephew and headed out for our 4-hour car ride into upstate New York. Our destination was a house my wife's family owns in Delaware County which is used primarily during hunting season and throughout the year as a retreat from the routine of everyday life. A location so remote, there is no cell phone service from at least the town over to where we'll be. We arrived by midnight to find a quiet house and found our way to the beds that had been set aside for us.
The next morning (4:30 am), the hunters began stirring and getting ready for the day ahead. They all assembled around the kitchen table for their morning breakfast and as I joined them, I saw the group for the first time. We totaled 17 people and 1 dog and just as quickly as they gathered to eat, they ran in different directions in flashes of camouflage and bright orange as they began completing their outfits. They ranged from traditional Elmer Fudd plaid to the prison-orange jumpsuits from my earlier premonitions.
|Did someone call Hazmat?|
|Thankfully, I was spared the prison uniform but I'm not sure crossing guard is my look either.|
|Field Stream, oil on board, 12 x 12|
The evening was filled with all hands helping to prepare the feast that would be dinner amid stories of each hunter's experience. Afterward, dessert was the highlight. My nephews decided to surprise their father for his birthday (which was actually that day) and ordered a special cake for him from Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, NJ, the bakery made famous by TLC's Cake Boss. The detail was incredible and the cake was delicious.
|The Cake Boss cake with a figure which looks exactly like my brother-in-law.|
|Pizza boxes make fantastic wet-painting carriers. Some double-sided tape or tape loops help to secure the painting.|