Although Walmart and radio stations start jingling holiday bells in early fall, we have a strict policy of not sending out our Nov/Dec issue until after Halloween. Which is why our holiday issue is just coming out now (that and I had a spooky and over-scheduled October.) I tend to feature musicians and artists on our holiday covers, and this year we kept the tradition alive. Folk artist Eric Dowdle has been on my “short list” for several years. Last December, my family visited with him in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building where local artists were displaying their beauties. His name spiked its way up the list after I saw firsthand that his personality matched his colorful depictions of cities worldwide. It wasn’t hard to get this funny man to smile at our cover shoot, but a sure way to light up his expression was to mention his baby peacocks. He loves animals and even had a pet goat named “Art.” More about that in the cover story. He and his wife, Deb, were terrific sports and gave us an entire afternoon for the photos — despite their hectic holiday painting schedule. When Eric asked Deb to join him in the photo, he called out, “Hey, Sunshine.” That made us all smile. Several of the photos (including the one with me up above) were taken outside his warehouse along I-15. When the 18-wheelers rolled by, we had to increase our volume and include hand gestures to communicate. But even if I couldn’t always hear Eric, he was always making me laugh. Thanks, Eric, for a great interview and fabulous photo shoot. Learn more about this paintbrush genius at dowdlefolkart.com. P.S. The Christmas garland came from my very own storage room and is displayed on my very own banister every Christmas. My only regret in life is that I didn’t deduct it as a business expense — it was also used as a prop for the Kurt Bestor photo shoot two years ago.