Thursday, May 17, 2012

Moving Pictures

Marriage to an artist means that pictures are always moving.

When I decorated my mantel on Saturday, one of my favorite paintings hung over the mantel.

Several years ago Steve painted my little red wagon.

The wagon rusted out a year ago, but lives on in this lovely painting.

When I got home tonight, my little red wagon was gone.

In its place, I found this new painting.

Steve just finished it on Monday.

The scene is Ventura from the hillside with the Channel Islands in the background.

Steve has painted variations of this scene countless times.

Ventura scenes are what I call his "bread and butter" paintings because they are his best selling pieces.

Locals want them, but he also sells to people who have moved away and want a reminder of their hometown.

One of the downsides of marriage to an artist means pictures also move because they are sold.

This painting hung in our living room for several years.

Not only were the colors perfect, the painting evoked wonderful memories.

We snapped the photo on a vacation to Mendocino.

When the red truck sold, I was incredibly sad.

Fortunately, it was sold to dear friends.

The first time we went to their home after the sale, I could see the painting hanging in their living room as I walked up the sidewalk.

I knew that the red truck had found its perfect home.

The plus side of selling the painting was that we purchased our kayaks with the money from the sale of the red truck.

I lost the red truck, 

but I gained these.

Steve followed the red truck with the painting of a yellow truck.

Some readers might think they recognize the painting that hangs in our living room, but this is a different painting.

The first painting is much smaller and sold right after Steve completed it.

There is an interesting side story to the yellow truck painting.

Steve was in a show titled "Cash For Clunkers" with a watercolorist.

When they brought their pieces in to be hung, she had a watercolor of the exact truck.

The truck was sitting in a field in Sonoma.

Steve knows how much I loved the colors, so he painted it a second time for me, but twice the size.

We never know what painting will sell next.

He might paint something and sell it immediately.

Other paintings hang in the house for years and out of the blue someone will e-mail and ask about a them.

Last month he sold a painting that had hung over the sofa in my workroom for three years.

There are a few pieces I have made him promise never to sell.

This painting holds too many memories.

It is the center of the village of Walderston, Jamaica where we spent the first half of our time in the Peace Corps.

Steve sat in the bar one Friday night late waiting for me to return from Kingston.

Remember life before cellphones when we weren't connected 24 hours a day?

He was so worried and I was so scared I wouldn't make it home and I had such important news to tell him.

When I finally reached Walderston, the entire village ran out to the car with Steve to find out why I had been so late (long story).

My news - I was pregnant!

Every time I walk past the painting, I smile to think of our little village.

I am leaving tomorrow morning for a conference in Dallas.

Four days away, will he be moving pictures?

Who knows?


  1. Steve's paintings are fabulous! I love his style and the bright colors.
    Mary Alice

  2. All this is amazing! The painting are wonderful. I like the style and the subjects. Having been in the antiques business, I relate to the painful sale of items I have become attached to. Your situation is so much worse! It would be very hard to part with something so personal.

  3. It must be sad to see any of his paintings go - but how wonderful that you can have a vibrant and colourful record of memories of your life together - way better than any photos !

  4. Well you know I love Steve's paintings. Thank you for doing this post. When I get rich, I will email you for the large yellow truck painting! Don't worry though, because it will likely never happen....Love love love very large art pieces - they are just so bold.

  5. Your husband's paintings are wonderful. Love the colors and the subjects. I think I would have to to tell him there were some that just couldn't go away.

    Does he make prints of any of his paintings?

    I love the wagon and the trucks. The trucks make me think of traveling when I was a little girl.

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