Saturday, September 5, 2009
OLD RUSSIAN WOMAN, 20x24 in, oil on canvas, Abandoned
This painting dated 1964 has a story. As a young man in March 1965 I traded this painting for a 57 VW Beetle to transport me to college. Then thirty-one years later in 1996 the owner returned the painting to me believing that it should be a heritage piece for my family. In fact, he wrote on the back of the painting his intention that my oldest child should become the recipient of this painting. I apologize now publicly to my oldest child for not having delivered it to her. At the time that it was returned to me, I was visiting from my home four provinces away - a 4.5 hour flight. It could have been packaged and sent or carried with me. I chose instead to leave it as a gift to a relative who desired one of my paintings. That was in 1996. Then to my surprise in 2007 the painting once again became mine but once more I chose not to ship it home but rather tucked it behind my father's living room couch, still on the other side of the country. When we cleaned the apartment following my parents' deaths, I examined the painting for workmanship and condition of canvas and paint and made the decision that I would not keep it. I was sure my family did not have a place for this painting, nor did I. With noone to whom to give it, I left it in a public place with a sign that it was free for the taking. My contact information was on the back if someone wanted to let me know they had it. I have heard nothing so have to conclude that possibly the painting became part of some landfill site. That's OK. The painting served me well and it gave pleasure to a few for a long time. The VW Beetle reliably moved me around, and in 1967 the Year of Canada's Centennial, I painted her a celebrative Blue with red wheels, and white hubs and running boards. At last in 1968 I sold the car for $150 to a man who wanted to drive from St. Catharines Ontario to British Columbia and asked me whether it would make it that far. I said, "good luck!"