Hey, Ben. I'm in Altoona, PA this weekend at an illustration conference called Illuxcon.
Each year I learn something about humility. These folks are good! And many are students, or lifetime hobbyists like me. To meet their standards I'd have to double or triple the quality of my work. Most impressive, most instructive. Most humbling, and, if I'm not careful, very depressing.
Don't get me wrong -- I'm very pleased to be doing work as good as what I'm now doing. I'm also very pleased to see the impact it has on others. At some point, if I keep working, I'll come up to their levels, or better. In the mean time, I'll keep trying.
I am grateful for having such a marvelously supportive wife (far right, above). Sheesh! Ben, if there is one goal you must have in life, it is to marry someone as patient and supportive and sacrificing and loving as your mother. She listens to me moan and watches patiently as I suck my thumb because I can't be this big artist guy yet, but she is unflagging in her love and support. And she occasionally smacks me down, too, which is very good. All in great love. If there is one valuable attainment in life, it is to follow God's guidance to such a woman as that. And living so that she feels good about and has joy in that support.
Example: She completely re-decorated the living room walls, putting my religious artwork all over them, making it into a sort of Lester Yocum gallery. Wow! She arranged things exquisitely, too. What a great lady. I must admit, the entire tenor of our living room has changed. There is a palpable power in that room, a great feeling for good. I am most impressed. I makes me feel good, for sure. Especially about her.
I love you. God bless you. Thank you.