I sometimes wonder how my sold paintings are doing, hanging on the walls of strangers whom I have only briefly met while exchanging paintings and money from one hand to the other. If I were my sold paintings, what would they be seeing every day from where they hang.
Last November, I showed for the first time at the Audubon Society’s Wild Arts Festival here in Portland. Even though I sold only one painting, I had a blast meeting people and discussing with them why and how I paint. The show was for two days and I must admit that every time someone struck up a conversation with me about how much they liked my work, I told myself, ” This is it! He/she is going to get it!” But, nothing.
Then, an old woman carrying a tall bag walked towards my booth. She was looking tired from all the walking, I suppose. I glanced at her and thought to myself, she needs to take some load off her feet. And as quickly, as I finished thinking that, she glanced up at me and motioned to my empty chair and asked if she could sit for a bit. Of course, I said without any hesitation at all. Her daughter was tagging behind her and she wondered if she could leave her mother here with me while she carried on looking at the show. “No problem! I’ll keep an eye on her.”
The old lady sat for a whole hour, and in between talking to people visiting my booth, I chatted with her. When her daughter came back for her, the old woman said to me that she would like to buy that painting that she has been looking straight at for the past hour. I was caught by surprise, pleased and felt quite awkward at the same time for giving her a seat was never my intent as a way for her to buy my painting. But she insisted. As she was about to write out a cheque, her daughter said to her, ” Mum, it’s alright. I shall pay for it.” So, I wrapped it up for her and watched them walk away, the daughter with the painting tucked under her arm and the other hand leading her mother through the crowd. I looked on with a comforting smile on my face because the few interactions that went on between the two of them told me that my painting has found a nice home.