Because you never know where opportunity is going to pop, I try to keep an open mind – even when I’m experiencing an art show with what appear to be slow sales. Such a thing seemed to happening one beautiful fun weekend in Gainesville, Florida in the early 1990’s for me. I wasn’t selling a ton – though I was enjoying myself, the other artists and the people thoroughly!
A German man came up and started asking a ton of questions and ended up buying pretty much anything I wasn’t officially selling: my lunch bag (I got to keep the contents, lol), my jacket and a prototype for some “art dolls” I was creating. In his thick accent he said he was there teaching a symposium in International Law and had a friend back home who was an arts book publisher and also had a gallery who would love my things. So, ok. That’s cool.
Back in Chicago a month or so later I got an international call – which before Skype was a pretty big deal. It was Peter Gilles (the professor) on the line with his friend Norbert Haun – whom I came to call Norby. Norby wanted a whole slew of stuff and was going to wire transfer (predating PayPal here, kiddos) a bunch of cash to pay for it. His timing was amazing! I made the stuff and sent it and apparently he sold it all very quickly. So quickly he proposed an idea – why don’t I go there, live in he and his girlfriend’s extra apartment and make a bunch of art that he would buy and then sell. This way we wouldn’t have to ship the art – just the artist!
This worked out wonderfully well and we ended up doing this a bunch of times.
I was thinking about these times this morning so here’s today’s sketch!
The place was sort an very old mill settlement where individual owners has split apart the collection of buildings all sort of connected in that charming old world way into individual units. Mine overlooked the river and had an odd vibe. Back then it freaked me out – these days I would know how to adjust its energy.