To Thine Own Art Be True

We recently spent a weekend being charmed and being charming at an absolutely charming spring wedding.  It was one of three wedding events we’re attending over nine days.  When it rains, it pours.

Fortunately, at this one, it did neither.  The sun shone over the outdoors ceremony and continued to the outdoors reception where the music was provided by one of our closest friends and one of the most talented individuals we know.  From ceremony through cocktails and into the dinner he charmed the attendees with his voice and music.  It was a pleasant addition to a delightful celebration.

On one of the other days of that same weekend we strolled the city parks areas in our town’s version of its annual arts festival.  Although it was pleasant, it was not delightful.  Of the almost two hundred artists selling their wares that day, we found a couple we had seen in the past whose works we enjoyed and found a couple new ones who might become favorites.  That puts about 98% of them in the “oh dear” category.  There’s a funny thing about artists, not everything they do is art to everybody.  And we think everybody is winning.

We love the arts and we won’t ever disparage someone from pursuing his or her dream.  Just realize that if that dream is taking vacation pictures on ‘round the world, tax deductible trips, we snap our own memories.  Or if the dream is a single vision in 42 sizes, few will want a collection.  It was unfortunate that these were some of the thoughts we had that day.

We missed a couple of our favorite artists.  Either they chose not to attend or were booked on some other days.  One is a charming lady who takes “local artist” quite seriously.  Everything she paints is local.  Cityscape, landscape, or still-life will be something you recognize but would never have thought of painting.  There is detail in her oil on canvas that those with a digital camera can’t find or don’t know where to look.   When one looks closely at her scenes it doesn’t take long to discover that almost every scene has her husband watching from inside.  Whether she is selling an original or one of her smallest prints, she’ll offer to include a personal inscription.

Another of our favorites not seen that day is on a mission to see that everybody who wants one of his pieces can have one of his pieces.  More than once we’ve heard him say to someone without cash in pocket, “Give me $10 and take it home.  Here’s an envelope, mail me a check.”  To those who can’t afford his work he says, “Pay me what you can every month, when it’s paid, it’s yours.”  He of We once asked if he ever regretted that.  “Never,” he said.  “Not even the one time someone gave me a ten, took my painting, and hooked me for the rest.”

And what does all this have to do with a weekend wedding.  It reminded us that Brother of She has that very troubadour booked for a party soon and is still waiting on his contract.  “You know me.  This is the part I like.  Being with the people.  I get around to the business part eventually but if I have you on my calendar, I’ll show up.  My word is my contract.”

That’s what we were thinking while we were walking the artists’ market and hearing the sound of nobody buying anything.  All the pieces were clearly marked.  All the catalogs and business cards were stacked neatly in the front corners.  But there wasn’t the passion that used to drive the artist who would stretch a canvas or test a microphone connection knowing that there might not be anything there now, but there will be soon.  Something very wonderful, very soon.

You have our word on it.

Now, that’s what we think.  Really.  How ‘bout you?




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