Monday, October 09, 2006


(2x5 inch oil on panel)
The last time I painted at the Blue Ash Airport by myself, was a very strange experience. I refer to it as the "bread bag shovel" incident. Saturday I was parked in the same abandoned parking lot as I was on that day several years ago. I think of this part of the airport as the plane graveyard. The planes in this portion of the airfield, seem unattended, with grass and weeds overtaking some of them.

So, there I was, seated in the passenger seat of my car, windows all rolled down, keys in the ignition, painting away. Seemed like a great day. Then a man pulled in behind me in a pick-up truck. I felt a little trapped because of how he parked the truck. I would certainly need to do some maneuvering to get around his vehicle.

The fellow got out of his truck, of course my eyes were glued on him in the side mirror of my car. That's when I noticed that he was looking back at me in the side mirror. He walked to the back of his truck and reached into the bed. He pulled out these gloves (I forget now what type they were, but, for the sake of this story, and because I really do think this is true, they were like those
big yellow rubber gloves you use for dishwashing). All the while looking back at me in my side mirror. He put the gloves on and then reached into the bed of the truck and pulled out an empty bread bag. He put it over one of his gloves. He found another bag and did the same with the other glove. Looking at my eyes, looking at his eyes. (Needless to say, now my imagination has totally gotten the better of me. It was almost as though I could hear Bill Cosby telling his Chicken Heart story, only now, it was my heart doing the loud pounding.)

The man seemed so methodical. He did other strange-seeming things to me. But who could think clearly with a heart trying desperately to beat it's way through the chest? He then pulled out a shovel, and leaned it against the truck, still looking at me, mind you. Then another shovel.

At this point I'd reviewed every conceivable plan for escape and had already decided that since my windows were electric, and I drove a stick shift, there was no way to roll them up, and I certainly couldn't dump all the painting supplies, boxes, etc. and jump over the console wearing a skirt. I was trapped.

BOMP-BOMP!!! BOMP-BOMP!!! My heart raged on. (Of course, in my mind, I was calling on the name of the Lord...don't let this guy hurt me, and help me be a witness to him if he doesn't know You.)

The man began to walk directly to the side of the car where I was seated. This seemed to take 30 minutes, but in reality, it was probably 30 seconds. He leaned down, right into the side of my face, and said to me... (Yikes! I can barely stand to repeat it!)...he said to me "Hi! Are you doing a painting of one of those airplanes?"

"Yep, just finishing up!" I answered, voice trembling I'm sure.

"I'm just here to do a little cleaning up around that plane over there." he reported.

"Oh, well, looks like you've got a great day to do it."

What can I say, I've always had a great imagination. But, come on, empty bread bags rubberbanded around the wrist over your gloves, abandoned building and parking lot? What would you think?


m collier said...

Love the painting -- love the story !!!

shant said...

Funny story! Aometimes I chastise myself for being paranoid but other times, probably when its most important I have a devil may care additude. Your paintings are super! I like so many of them.

Lori W. Simons said...

Hi karen, My friend Cindy Nixon called to let me know what you're doing. I'm Lori Woodward Simons - I paint with Richard Schmid... I'm not sure how else to reach you.

Karen Sempsrott said...

Thanks for the comments!

Hi Lori, I went to your website and sent you an e-mail. If I don't hear back from you, I'll get ahold of you throgh Cindy.

I'll be very happy to help you any way I can. Cindy thinks you're great!

Leslie Sealey said...

I love the painting, and the story! Yikes! I'm glad that tured out o.k. : )

Karen Sempsrott said...

Thanks, Leslie! I lived to paint another day, although oddly enough, I have a strong aversion to Butternut bread bags. Of course, I still love the bread that's inside the bags.