Friday, February 22, 2013

Suspicious Painters

Winter Roadside Willows, 6" x 8" Oil on Panel

This month I've been getting out to paint more. The weather is slowly improving as Winter occasionally shows a better mood. I'm also finally over a nasty sinus infection. The painting shown above was done in Heber Valley earlier this month, but I've also recently painted closer to home.

Last weekend I was painting at a local lake. After finishing the painting and loading everything into the car, I was about to drive off when a DWR (fish and game) truck pulled up and stopped, blocking my way. The officer walked over to my car and said,

“What cha been doing this evening sir?”

“Painting.” I answered.

“Painting!” he said, sounding surprised. He then looked around. “Well you picked a good spot for it.”

After a brief conversation, he let me go and drove off, no doubt on the hunt (no pun intended) for nefarious ne'r-do-well poachers.

That incident reminded me of another time a few years ago I was stopped by the cops:

After spending a day painting in Goshen Valley I was headed home. It was dark by the time I turned east onto Route 6. Somewhere between the small towns of Goshen and Santaquin, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a large Ford truck grill very close behind my little suv. Then red and blue lights started flashing. A glance at my speedometer assured me I wasn't speeding. What on earth could be the problem? I pulled over.

“How ya doing tonight sir?” The deputy asked as he approached my open window.

Now, I don't get pulled over very often, but that question always annoys me. I want to say, “I was doing fine until you pulled me over!”, but of course I don't. To be fair, I think cops ask that question because people who are drunk or guilty can't answer it normally, tipping the officer off as to what kind of wacko they might have just pulled over.

I lamely replied, “Um, OK.”

“Where are you headed?”

“Home.” I answered. I suspected the next question would be about where I'd been and what I'd been doing, so I decided to head it off. “I was painting in Goshen Valley.”

“Wow! You get around!” he exclaimed as he swung his flashlight beam into the back of my car and saw the easel. “I thought I've seen this car before. I saw you down at the state park.”

“The state park?”

“At Utah Lake.”

“Yeah, I've been there.”

The deputy seemed fascinated that he had pulled over a painter. He asked if I knew my license plate lights weren't working. I didn't know. He told me I should get them fixed when I got home. After quickly looking over my driver's license the officer let me continue on my way. The next day I fixed the malfunctioning lights.

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