A previous posting recounted the tale of visits to the Grill On Gage that V&I made. During the first visit (BTW – still waiting for the answer back on the petition to the new pope on the sainthood matter for V) we were enamored with a painting, displayed with several others, on the wall. The Grill and many other establishments in the Tri are part of a cooperative effort of local businesses and artists to have local art displayed and available for purchase by patrons. The cooperative, Cyber Art 509, serves as a dynamic gallery of sorts where the pictures are displayed in one business then if not sold over a period of time rotated to another business to display. What a remarkably simple and very creative concept to sustain the local art community.
One painting in particular spoke to us. A small notice alongside it had the artist’s contact info and the title. However, the card had no pricing as the others did. All through lunch I am listening to conversation and trying to remain engaged but my mind is on the artwork hanging on the wall.
We are novices at purchasing original artwork from an artist. In fact, this is the first time we have actually done this. We’ve purchased photographic prints and other artwork that are number xxx of XXX. However, we’ve never obtained an original piece; a 1 of 1. Our budget, somehow or other, seems to be targeted more for fluid art that goes into bottles by artisanal winemakers. That being said, we were filled with the notion there was something special about the couple in the painting but could not quite put the mental finger on it. V says, “It reminds me of when we travel to big cities and the skyline is filled with cityscapes, like Vancouver B.C., perhaps Seattle or Portland.” I smiled at her, the memories of trips we have taken and adventures shared engulfing me in that moment. She adds, “Look at the textures, look at the colors, isn’t it beautiful?”
I reply back, “You’re beautiful, and you’ve got a point. I don’t know what it is, but there is something else, something more. We can’t see their faces so it is difficult to associate an emotion. I am just going on intuition here. But if that is all there is, that is good enough, I guess.”
V says, “It has to be something about her. The title says so.” She continued, “He loves her, because his arm is around her waist.”
Ever the pragmatic one I hypothesize, “He is telling her, Sorry, we can’t afford that condo next to Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley that you want and costs $500,000.00.”
V changes her perspective now and says, “It’s us. It has to be us.”
As we leave, I hastily copy down the email address for the artist. Time marches on, stress from work, stress from ill family members, and busyness associated with life in general and I do not put follow-up actions with the initial effort. That is so unlike me.
Our second visit reminded me that I had not followed up as we searched the walls for the artwork which had transfixed us. The search unfortunately was in vain, the painting was nowhere to be found. We did not let the missing piece spoil the evening however, as evidenced by the account posted in Times That Make Up The Middle.
Later though, mustering every ounce of hope, I initiated an email follow-up to the artist, Ed David inquiring about the availability of the painting. A response from Ed arrives shortly thereafter including a starting point for a purchase negotiation. That creates a reply from us stating what we considered a fair price to pay. Not too much later a deal was struck and an agreement was made for where and when to pick-up the artwork which had so captured our hearts.
Life is not without its hiccups. Is it? Even something like a simple contract; “Let’s meet and I’ll pay you for what you have that I want.” The end result being a somewhat flummoxed artist because the transaction could not be consummated in light of the fact the painting wasn’t on the wall where Ed thought it was.
He apologetically left and promised to be in touch. He found the painting, contacted us and we agreed to get together at Barnard-Griffin’s Wine Bar and Bistro.
At the appointed time we gather and opt to share a bottle of the 2012 Pinot Gris and the three meats and cheeses platter. The wine was chilled to the right temperature and as we expected; light, crisp, and not overly sweet on the palate. It was the perfect lubrication for discussion on the painting, the inspiration, and the future. It goes without saying there was an obvious sense of relief a deal was created in which both parties were happy with the end outcome. In business classes they call that a good bargain.
In retrospect we got a great deal more than an original piece of artwork to hang in a space in our home which was just waiting for this specific painting. We received a new way to look at art, not seeing just the surface, but digging deeper to truly look at the whole in juxtaposition to the surrounding detail. We also developed a new relationship and one cannot put a price tag on that.
Now for the fun part…
This week’s posting is a contest.
That’s right, a contest. We told the story of how we acquired the painting and we’ve included a picture of it too. The first one who correctly describes in the comment area at the bottom of this week’s posting what is going on in the painting and why it spoke to us will receive one of three bottles of wine; a red one, or a white one, or a sparkler, personally chosen by us out of our storage. It’ll be your choice. Of course, the winner will have to prove they are over twenty-one. Sorry Ed, you are ineligible.
Should be easy enough to do, don’t you think? What do you say? Want to speculate?