Occasionally I like to work with my door open. Either by a few inches, to help the air circulate to keep the fumes down, or all the way, so I can sit in a chair opposite, and look in at my painting on the wall. I’m not one of those painters who loves an audience though… so the best days to do this are when the building is closed to the public.
The other day, while scrubbing away on a piece, I felt the presence of someone outside the studio, and turned around to see a kid starting to slide a piece of paper under my door. I poked my head out, said “hi”, and he told me he had drawn this and wondered if I would like to make a painting of it. I’m not certain if this was some unusual way of trying to commission a painting, or he just wanted to give me a new and different challenge. Either way, I was totally charmed. As we talked, I found out he loved to draw, and wanted to try painting sometime. My guess is he was about 9 or 10, and appeared to be walking around the building by himself, just because he wanted to look at the art! So, here is my assignment … should I choose to accept it….
I was impressed by the way the image was a balance of intricate little parts and larger shapes, and the great cloud of steam coming out the top having volume as a results of his overlapping the curving lines. A very carefully observed, robust train engine! . . .
Today, another wanderer came through, even though the exhibits are closed on Mondays. She was visiting town as part of a giant gathering of religious types at our local university. After chatting for a while, she began to pull something out of her purse, and I was thinking “oh no, here it comes, the pamphlet promising me ‘eternal life’ or something similar.” Fortunately, we didn’t go there, and instead she pulled out a business card for one of her husband’s films, called Magdalena- Released from Shame. Something about how women in the middle east are oppressed. Haven’t checked it out, so can’t say what the real message is.
Anyway, you never know who’s going to find their way back to my little corner of the world!