Poster board is 40’” x 30”. Painting was intended to hang in a Decatur, Alabama shoe store the artist’s husband owned between 1961 and 1981. The artist signed the painting for me, but could not recall the year she’d done it. The letters the birds in the tree at right are holding stand for Decatur’s two high schools at the time the painting was done, so may serve to indicate the work’s date.
Last Friday, I bought a painting at day’s end from a lady who’d parked outside the office where I do some of my work. The front, right tire of her car had irreparably flatted when she parked against a concrete parking-stop. A woman from my unit and a man from maintenance had tried to help her get the tire re-inflated, and when that failed, had called a tow-truck. When a colleague and I saw the truck pull up, I went to the unit where she was waiting to get her, but she had already seen the truck and was on her way out to meet it.
When my supervisor and I left the building a little while later, we spoke with her. I noticed in the back seat of her sedan a large, unfinished but interesting painting on slightly weathered poster-board and asked the artist’s name. She said she had painted it some years ago to hang in her husband’s shoe store, in Alabama. She said she had always intended to “fill in the background” but had never got around to it. Because I had immediately liked the painting, recognized the artist’s talent, and knew the painting was complete even if unfinished, and because I had money in my wallet, I said, “I’ll give you twenty dollars for it if you’d like to sell it.” The lady demurred, and said I could have it. I did pay her for the painting, though, and felt good about my purchase.
The artist said she had been thinking about getting her pencils, paints, and surfaces unpacked so she could “release the artist” she said is within her. I strongly recommended she do just that, and we told her we’d like to see anything else she’d like to sell.