Saturday, June 15, 2019

Never Again

Never again! That’s what Karen said two years ago. I echoed her statement with two, no three, exclamation points. The fundraiser for WAVE, Working Against Violence for Everyone — a local non-profit — is a gala event for attendees with alcoholic beverages flowing freely along with a plentiful assortment of delicacies for the most discriminating palates.

However, the main attraction is the artwork, creations by artists mostly on a 22 X 30 inch sheet of watercolor paper to be cut up and sold by the square inch.  Supporter/patrons chosen by random numbers circulate around the artwork with various sized mat boards.  Each searches for the perfect layout they would like to see cut out of the artist’s creation to take home at the hefty price of $1.00 per square inch.  

I’ve suffered mightily in past years.   I offered pieces I composed with obvious (to me) complete compositions that anyone could see — just put your mat board around the central parts and viola. They got decimated.   Karen always painted discrete paintings surrounded by white borders.  They always survived.

This year I decided to adopt Karen’s tactic — sort of, neither one of us figuring on one little girl whose mother must have said “you can chose one little piece.  Take this tiny mat board and have fun.”  Alas, this juvenile art collector ended up being one of the first “art patrons” chosen to choose and she honed in on Karen’s and my artwork.


                   Karen's     You Are So Dear to me     Watercolor/Acrylic

Back and forth she darted between the two.  Again and again — so fast she’s obviously a future candidate for an Olympic track medal.  Karen’s largest painting of bears or one my paintings of a bear with gnomes on it’s back was going to get destroyed with hours and hours of work spent on the rest of the painting laid to waste.  We were miserable as we watched her dash back and forth between the pieces.  Oh, the agony, the pain.  In the end…the gnomes were chosen to be plucked off the back of the bear.


                    Don's     Gnome Fishing Strategies      Alkyd    
The gnomes would have been excised from the back of the bear.  

But then, an angel.  His name, Richard.  We had never met him before this event but he sat across from us at our table and saw our angst.  Richard likes gnomes and when his turn came he did the unimaginable.  He selected another of my gnome and bear paintings for himself plus….he purchased the entire gnome and bear painting the girl wanted part of so she could have the whole undefiled thing.  My painting survived because of the generosity of Richard, my hero.

In the end my four gnome paintings sold, as did Karen's eclectic selection of four paintings.  Karen was so enamored with her own largest offering she sat on the edge of her seat dreading seeing it cut up or cut out -- until it was her turn to chose what artwork she wanted.  It now resides on our living room wall.


        Karen's    When You're Done I Have a Question    Watercolor/Acrylic
                               Now part of our own art collection.     


                              Don's    A Beary Big Problem     Alkyd

Two years from now we will receive another request.  Would you be willing?  If I breakdown and say yes, which I am vowing never to do again, but if I do which I won’t, the subject will be….blotches of unused paint from every painting I work on for months — a totally indescribable abstract — blotches of color that should never ever ever ever be placed within the same room of each other.  Then, after that maybe WAVE will strike my name from their contact list. 


           Karen's    Are You Sure That Was Decaf?    Watercolor/Acrylic


                           Don's    Waiting For Some Action    Alkyd


                            Karen's      Bird Grains      Watercolor/Acrylic


                Don's    A Gnome Family Outing On The River    Alkyd  
This piece didn't fare so well with the top of the mountains and one deer perishing when they were cut out of the painting.

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