I love summer, especially the Ohio State Fair. It's even more fun when you participate, so I sign up for the special day when Plein Air painters (artists who paint outdoors rather than inside) are invited to come and "do their thing."
It is hard to narrow down all the paintable possibilities - there are the animals, everything from sleek horses to racing pigs, polka-dot rabbits and moon-eyed llamas. And there is the midway; all sparkle, flashing lights, deep-fried elephant ears, the tallest portable slide in the world, the elaborate quilts, the art exhibit, and lots, lots more.
I finally decide to tear my heavy watercolor paper into parts and paint different scenes. I sew it all back together and make it hangable for the late afternoon competitive exhibit.
I am wearing my Dominican Sisters of Peace t-shirt, and I have a wonderful time meeting people as I paint the big attractions - the famous butter cow, the double-triple Ferris wheel, kids catching fat fish in the Ohio State Parks area, and families enjoying dripping ice cream cones. I meet people who know the Dominican Sisters of Peace from other venues - parishes, Shepherd's Corner, the Dominican Learning Center.
And now I see another side to my personal "preaching with art" charism: I need to shout with paint to everyone that God has spared nothing to give us opportunities for joy and delight along our sometimes bumpy life's journey. Here are all kinds of people - many in wheelchairs or on scooters, happy families pulling kids in rentable red wagons, representatives of all God's children just having a good time, enjoying the beautiful day. Different motives have brought them here; I hope I can show them the opportunity to thank God for these moments of fun.