Mr. O'Brien Goes to Washington
NOVEMBER 16, 2006
On Wednesday I went to Washington DC to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum to see the opening of a new show, 'Trailblazers and Trendsetters.' It's the art of the postage stamp and I had two portraits in the show, Judy Garland and Hattie McDaniel. The U.S.Postal Service are great to work for and the Designers and Art Directors are fantastic. Ethel Kessler and Terry McCaffery are among my favorites. They are thoughtful, sweet and passionate about their jobs and recognize that stamps are U.S. currency and are significant pieces of American history. I was thrilled to see my Garland painting again and to see it hanging next to the late great Al Hirshfeld. Many friends were represented, such as Deas, Payne and Summers, and other greats such as Bernie Fuchs, Drew Struzan, Howard Kozlow and Jerry Pinkney had works in the show as well.
The entrance to the show.
I got into Washington 2 hours before the 6 PM opening and walked outside on a slightly overcast, global-warming-November evening. I've been in DC several times in the past few years but it's been a long time since I had a good feeling being there. When it was a complete republican town I looked at it as a government hell bent on pushing a morality on America, rewarding wealth, cutting programs for the poor, and bankrupting America to end all social programs. They got pretty far with that agenda. So, I was a bit surprised by my reaction to walking out of Union Station. I got chills on my arms as I saw our capital building part a row of autumn trees.
I walked straight for it and as it rose up, I had to stop and do a sketch of it. I walked around to the front and stood before the Supreme Court. Will the conga line of conservative judge nominees stop? I hope so. So for me the trip to Washington was a nice pilgrimage to a new city.
My quick sketch of the Capital
The Supreme Court