14 x 18 inches | oil on canvasI had set up my easel on a country road in Vermont, in front of a small, picturesque farm. My subject: dappled light on a derelict, old flatbed truck lost in a sea of weeds, with a decrepit barn behind it (I love broken-down shit. Paging Dr. Freud...). While I was painting, a farmer, the owner of said farm, drove by on a tractor, hauling manure (draw your own conclusions). We nodded warily at one another, and he chugged by without a word. He subsequently drove past me about a dozen times as I painted and never said a thing, although I did catch him glancing suspiciously at me a couple of times as he passed by.
I finished and was packing up to leave when he drove up again. This time he shut off his tractor and asked to see the painting. He liked it (to our mutual surprise) and asked how much I wanted for it. I thought for a moment, and then quoted him a dirt-cheap price. After all, he’d been nice enough not to shoot me; and I figured that if I could leave with enough cash to fill the car with gas, buy lunch, and put a down payment on a tube of Cadmium Yellow Light, I’d be happy as a clam.
When he heard the price, the farmer looked at me like I’d defiled his only daughter (which I didn’t, I swear - I was nowhere near her). He snorted in disgust, hacked a slimy wad on the pavement and said, "Hell, I could buy a pig for that."
Then he started up his tractor and drove away.