I’d stopped at a local apple farm one afternoon several years ago, both for a luscious chocolate frosted doughnut fresh from their ovens and a fun browse through the art boutique in their barn, when I came upon a small but exquisite painting that simply made my heart zing.
I remember it as being only about 8×8, perched on an easel… a softly tinted portrait of a young woman from the 40’s, a tender look that caught warm happiness upon her delicately pretty face. And next to the painting, a faded vintage photo of the same, revealing the artist’s “model.”
Something in it spoke to me of English landscape behind her. I think the subject may have been captured by camera in an everyday moment, standing next to a British-looking auto…and I wondered who she was. Someone in the artist’s family? Or a commissioned piece of someone dear to a client? The display appeared as though the artist had simply stepped away, inviting viewers to think of the possibilities she might render from their beloved photos, yet I didn’t see her around to ask.
But — oh! I wanted this picture!
I checked the price. Ugg… Not really extravagant, but for me at the time, a bit steep. Reluctantly, I walked away.
Took another look.
Repeated that pattern, again and again.
Mentally going through my budget. Trying to squeeze a way to splurge.
The lovely portrait reminded me of one my mom would love too… I knew it would make a special gift. It sparked something in my long latent artist soul (buried under the responsibility of full time office work) to create again – “I think I could paint something like this,” I told myself. But I’d need to see it before me to try. Lastly…”It would look so pretty against my pastel green bedroom walls, in that tiny space by the en suite,” I conjoled in my thoughts.
I’ve regretted my decision to leave it behind, ever since.
Today, the price seems like I could have made it work, should have made it work. There was a message in that piece that spoke to me so deeply, and now I can’t help wondering if I missed the receiving or the giving of a gift meant for me.
Mm… How many times do we miss out on something one of a kind in life?
Recently, I asked after the long ago display at the shop when talking with a saleswoman who has been there over many years. She mused. Gave me a possible artist name… But when I googled that person’s work, it was nothing like the piece or style I recall.
Lately, I’ve even been searching online for a vintage photo of such a young woman that I might draw myself… but… no luck.
I even wonder now… if I’d asked, might the artist have presented me with a way to afford it, maybe make a few payments, or held it for me to try and save a couple of months? I’ll never know.
What I do believe now is, art is a gift that speaks story to our souls. Each time you pass a beloved piece on your wall, it relays the message of the giver… a lilt to your heart… a simple joy in beauty instilled in us by the Master Artist.
That’s why… if you see a piece on this blog or my “Picture It in Pen and Ink” site that you especially love, inspires an idea for a commissioned custom drawing… or makes you want to give it as an “I love you” to someone special…I’d love to talk ways and means to get it to you.
Whose friendship makes your heart zing? Say it with art!
Don’t procrastinate. Time is a moving thing… and art that touches the soul preserves our stories, can even breathe healing and hope to us in some intangible ways, one by one.
© Pam Depoyan