Sunday, January 2, 2011

my most prized

I am in the process of packing up my studio, Genna's studio, and our house. We've been 12 years at our studio and 8 years in our home and it is SHOCKING what a person can accumulate in that amount of time. I've been particularly freaked out about the gallery...each time I think I've got a handle on it, I open a closet or cabinet door and SURPRISE!

I'm not here to complain, though. I love nearly all of my things and they are well worth the time and hassle it takes to properly pack them and carry them across state lines. What I want to tell you about today is how much great stuff I have!

We've been living in the middle of a construction site for most of the 8 years we've been in our house. Half of it is now lovely (restored hardwood floors, crown molding, high ceilings, period details) and the other half would still look at home in a cracky trailer park (cheap fake wood paneling, ancient oatmeal colored carpet, sway-backed dropped ceilings). Because we never finished this project, I've never properly displayed much of our art collection, accumulated through purchases, gifts, and trades since I started college in 1992. Packing it up I've been seeing it with fresh eyes and falling in love all over again.

I'm going to show you one thing very most prized possession...and then maybe a few more things from our collection later on. Here she is:

She is an untitled original watercolor on paper made by our good friend Keith Rasmussen in 1975, just a year after I was born. This piece hangs in our bedroom on the wall to my right as I lay looking out. It's like a master class in painting laying and studying it each morning.

When I met Keith, he was the director of the Chattahoochee Vallery Art Museum here in LaGrange. I was honored to have many opportunities to see him work over the 10 years or so that I knew him, and each time it was like absolute magic. I've seen him draw and paint and work on lithographic plates and never once saw him make a stray mark. He could look at his subject and render it seemingly effortlessly.

This particular composition is made up of a girl, two intricately detailed baskets, and a black bird (amongst other things). You know I have a thing about black birds, right? The bird brings an unexpected, allegorical flavor to the otherwise everyday scene.

You can see many more examples of Keith's work and read his story at Keith died of pancreatic cancer in 2006 but his lovely wife, my good friend Mary Ann Rasmussen, continues to represent him and his work. Take the time to check it out, I promise it will be well worth your time.

ps...Here it is in it's place!

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