Hello There!

Acrylic on bristol paper. 1999
I wasn't much of a plant-person back in the late 90s, but when I saw this guy I was compelled to take up gardening, just so that I could be his friend. He wore Steve Martin bunny ears and greeted me with an enthusiastic "Hello there!" every time I saw him. He cheered me up. I thought so highly of him that I decided to paint his portrait.

He grew to about two feet tall and, along the way, he lost the bunny ears; but he did grow a few more arms and always offered breezy salutations to all who passed. For a couple of Christmases my wife and I decorated him and surrounded him with presents. He certainly beamed brightly in that role and was the epitome of Holiday cheer. Sadly, he passed away several years ago, but he is remembered with affection. Other failed plants have been forgotten.

While tossing out old artwork, this painting fell from a portfolio and landed face up. The shade of my departed cactus greeted me once again, the aura of his joyful optimism undiminished, even by his absence. Without thinking, I smiled and waved back.

I'm not going to toss this old painting out. I'm going to keep it and tack it to my wall. Hello there! Yeah. That'll be nice!

The End