Wednesday, January 14, 2015

More thoughts on the "unheralded"

     I like to read the essays in the weekday Globe and Mail. Today's was called "A brush with Mr.Williams" and was about a painting that caught the author's eye in a second-hand store. Although it was signed, no information could be found about the artist until some fifteen years later, presumably with the expansion of content on the internet, a detailed obituary was located. The artist, Norman Davies Williams had trained in England and emigrated to Brandon in 1948. the obituary writer noted . "He worked for the joy of working while his wife, Doone, brought home the pay cheque- an arrangement precisely as they both wanted it." Apparently he never entered competitions or exhibited. The art director of the local gallery wrote to the essayist, "Unfortunately, it is the sad life of an artist that talent doesn't always mean a living wage or long lasting fame.   I always remind people that an artwork is valuable if it speaks to you in some way, regardless of its fame or value."
     There are a lot of good artists around today that are not widely recognized but whose works would bring pleasure if they hung in a home.  Maybe some will become the subjects of future "Unheralded Artists" books - or have someone scrambling to find more about the artist of a work they have just found. But we would love to see more action for living artists. We were talking the other day about the need to have people realize that paintings make great gifts and that many can be found with just a little looking. People don't even have to wait for exhibits or  open studios- checking on a site like Richmond Artists Guild produces a lot of names to follow up. Most artists are only too happy to give a private viewing and the collector can find the painting that truly does speak to him or her.
     The painting  above, "The Old Conservatory" is a painting I did awhile back. Some people totally loved it, others, not. I liked the mood and the fact that you don't notice the old lady quietly reading the paper and enjoying the peace of the freshly watered conservatory. Richmond Hospital is doing some redecorating and was interested in some paintings . On a hunch, I included this one in an assortment. The Director of the Foundation really liked this one and said, "This  painting is so serene and beautiful. We would love to find a home for it in the hospital and create a calming environment for patients and their loved ones." I delivered it today so it is one more painting out into the world.

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