Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Because It Moved Me

A hundred years ago, I wrote about when I was going to our local sidewalk art show, and how much I loved my own original artwork that I've purchased.  Well, the sidewalk art show was this last weekend.  I only had about an hour to cruise around and view the lovely artwork, but I was going because I love it SO much.  There was one booth that is there every year, a guy who carves walking sticks with old-man faces.  This is not usually a booth that interests me, but my kids wanted to check it out, so in we went. As I was glancing around the booth, I turned to the south wall and saw the most amazing things.  There were only three of them, barn wood pieces painted with black and white portraits of Native Americans.  The one in the middle grabbed me.  I couldn't stop looking at it.  It was an old Native American man in profile.  He was looking far off.  He was aloof and ghost-like.  It reminded me of my grandfather who is 1/4 Cherokee (I think that's the right tribe...?). 

I spoke to the artist for a good 15 minutes.  He doesn't do many of these, never enough for a whole series.  The barn wood is difficult to obtain.  He uses real photographs of Native Americans from a book he has and he only likes to spend about an hour on each piece... just gets a feel for the shapes, shadows and highlights.  A.MAZ.ING.  I was entranced. 

As I chatted with the artist, I kept thinking I would walk away from the booth.  I got his email address so I could have him email me more of these pieces as he did them.  I was going to leave.  Every time I tried, I found myself worried to leave because what if somebody bought this piece?  I watched people walk into his booth and if they looked in the direction of my lovely old Indian man, I found myself stepping a little closer to it, to make sure they knew I was already interested in it.  I felt like it was mine and I had to defend it and protect it from everyone else. 

After the fourth or fifth time I tried to leave, and the fourth or fifth time I "protectively" stepped closer to it, I realized that if I didn't buy this and take it home, I would regret it forever.  And it only cost as much as a tank of gas in my van, for heaven's sake!

"I'm going to buy this right now," I told the artist.  "I can't leave it here." 

"Great!" he responded. 

I discovered I was out of checks, but said that he could take cards. (no power or phone lines, so I was surprised...)  He pulled out his "Jurassic" credit card machine... you know the ones you swipe on carbon paper?  Awesome.  He was all old-school.  I left with my Native American barn wood painting. 

I came home and hung it on a wall... perhaps a temporary spot, but I had to have it up.  I stare at it all the time.  Ella even said to me today, "Mom, why do you keep staring at that?" 

Because I love it and I can't help it... and that's how I know I made the right decision. 

(not a very good picture of it, but you get the idea... 
and you're just grateful that I posted a picture since it's not a forte of mine, right???)


Rachel Chick said...

That really is lovely, Clanc! So haunting. It's amazing the talents that some people possess.

Lisa said...

That is hauntingly beautiful. I can see why you had to buy it

Kristin said...

This post has amazing timing for me. We are trying to decide on some artwork for our house and the decision is being difficult for me. Maybe that says something. I figure if I'm going to pay that much (it's large) I ought to LOVE it. Hmmm! Food for thought! Thanks!

Polly said...

Cool painting. I'm glad you went with your gut and bought it! (also after the angst about the decision and how you just couldn't live without it, I, for one, am VERY glad you posted a pic)

Genene said...

Yep! Good decision Clank! It's even more moving or stirring in person. That feel is hard to catch in 2D isn't it!

canki is my security word this time... funny1