I was recently alerted that three of older pieces, pre-2000 and pre-Red Tree, were available at an antique shop in western Virginia, part of a recently acquired estate. Looking into this, I found that they were indeed my paintings, including one, Tango (above), that was a favorite of mine from that time.
They were also mistakenly identified as prints, probably due to the numbering on the back that identifies the year and sequence of the painting. Also, I was painting on a smooth surface so there wasn’t a lot of evident surface texture. To the the casual observer they might appear to be prints. I used to have people ask about that a lot in those days.
As a result of mistaking them for prints they were priced at a very low price, far below what they were worth. I was torn between the idea of contacting the shop to alert them that these were not prints and my desire to have these pieces back with me as I don’t have much work from this time, almost all of it having found new homes long ago. Plus, the idea of having Tango return was exciting to me. It’s one of those pieces that really stand out in my mind from that time and I wanted to see how it had aged over the past 16 years or so.
I decided that we would buy them back without notifying the seller of their mistake. I don’t know if that was wrong but the shop had failed to do any research and were devaluing the work by their omission. I looked at this as a way of taking them off the market at the devalued price that they asked.
They arrived last week and it was such a thrill to see them again. The framing for Tango was in an older style, stained a deep green that I stopped using not too long after this time. But it was tight and clean and the painting was just as I remembered it, actually a bit sharper and brighter than my memory. It held up as well as I had hoped it might and that was satisfying.
A pleasant homecoming. I don’t think I will let this one go again…