Budding artist?

Rio Saress’ interest in my grandson’s questions might be the start of something big!

Wow, what a weekend.

I liked the way a Rockport Center for the Arts’ rep on the grounds of the Rockport Art Festival described it Saturday afternoon.

“This morning’s crowd showed no remnants of Harvey,” she said.

I’d love to say we’re all the way back, but I’d be lying, and you’d know it.

However, this long July 4 holiday sure felt a lot more like pre-Harvey celebrations, with more hotel rooms available and more people in town.

Downtown Rockport was swarming with people, as well.

The Rockport Yacht Club’s boat parade featured a lot more boats than in recent parades, and the people on those vessels were having a lot of fun.

I don’t ever recall mass water balloon fights between people on the boats and between people on boats and people onshore.

I only had the opportunity to run out to the Art Festival for a brief period Saturday afternoon, and took along my “almost five” grandson. I thought I’d give my wife a little break, plus this particular kid really enjoys drawing.

It was hot as heck, but we wondered through the four long rows of tents. He loves to draw and paint, but I didn’t think he’d like being at the Art Festival (i.e.- he’d rather be on Nani’s Wave Runner).

As we passed Rio Saress’ booth, my grandson said, “Stop Poppie. Look at those cool fish.” After looking at a few of her beautiful pieces of art, my grandson asked, “I wonder if she knows how to paint jellyfish?”

I said, “Why don’t you ask her.”

And, to my surprise, he did exactly that!

After telling me he could show her how to paint one, the artist just smiled, and began to take a real interest in my grandson.

She started going through all her prints and asking him which one he liked best.

At first, I thought, “This is one way to make a sale,” but it was soon quite obvious something else was going on.

She actually showed real interest in a four-year-old and asked him questions about what he likes to draw or paint.

He said quite confidently, “I do both.”

My grandson finally settled on his favorite print after looking through several bins.

As I pulled out my wallet, Saress told me she was giving it to him, and noted she gives away some prints to kids from time to time when they show a genuine interest in art.

My grandson’s parents are building a new home, and I have a feeling that gift from Rio Saress is going to end up on one of the walls in his new room.

It really doesn’t matter to this Poppie. An artist at the Rockport Art Festival took interest in a young kid, and it may or may not impact his interest in art, and to me, that’s cool.

After a shaved ice treat and a breather in the air-conditioned tent, it was off to the children’s tent to do some crafts.

At that point in the weekend we only had three of the five grandchildren at the house. The other two grandkids, along with their mother, came in Sunday at noon just in time for Nani’s spaghetti, which is the usual fare for Sunday lunch after church when family is in town. I don’t rate that high on my own.

This week is our annual “Camp Nani & Poppie”, and our oldest daughter is in town to help out since this year we have a six-month-old and almost three-month-old added to the fold. As much as we’d love to “handle” the crowd, we knew it would be too much for us on our own. We might be able to handle it in a few years when they’re all a little older … and there are no diapers and bottles involved.

Got to sign off and get some sleep. It’s going to be a long, but very fulfilling love-filled week.

The carrot at the end of “camp” is a double baptism, and another serving of Nani’s spaghetti.

Until next week, have a good week.

Mike Probst can be reached at publisher@rockportpilot.com.

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