Saturday, February 28, 2009

"You want to haggle over the price of your French Dip?"

Last night at the bar, I was feeling antsy.

Perhaps it was the long post-break week back at school. Perhaps it's that I'm hitting the home stretch for second semester— and, holy crap, first year. Perhaps it's the lack of concrete summer plans. Either way, I was enjoying the fact that my typical Friday shift was going to be shaken up a bit with a couple of live bands and a small art show.

It was as the guy was setting up his paintings that I eyed a few of the works- multiple layers of acrylics with the textures and colours working in an appealing abstract fashion. Yet almost all of the pieces included a firm representation of some kind, often stenciled in. Some of the canvasses were particularly vibrant that contrasted with some of the images' suggested morbidity.

I liked them.

It was as the band was wrapping up and I saw the tip jar overflowing that I decided to give in to my impulse. I wandered over to the artist as he was moving one of his paintings to cover the blank wall from where he'd just taken down and sold one of his other canvasses- a tall, long piece with towering silhouettes of trees against an orange and burgundy sky that I had watched the patrons admiring all night.

"So, how much are you selling these for?" I asked.

After a chat about the pieces, I pulled out some of my tip money and pointed to one of the medium-sized pieces, full of vibrant greens and yellows layered with incandescent oranges with white human silhouettes in the foreground- four men climbing an incline with a flag (Iwo Jima photo-esque) with another figure diving off into the multicoloured oblivion.

I walked proudly back to the bar with my canvas. My co-workers were initially confused but ultimately enthused by my acquisition. I put it on the bar next to me as we sat down for a drink after a busy night and a long close. Scotch in hand, I admired the canvas. It's my first piece of art that I've bought for my apartment.

As I made it home, tired from the shift but happy from the serendipitous art find and the Glenfiddich, I remembered that today is Sam's anniversary. While it made me sad to think of her, I know she'd be proud that I put some extra money in a student artist's pocket and enjoyed a good scotch. It's not Bailey's and Count Chocula, but I'll save that promise for another time.

Now, I just need to find a place for the painting...


  1. Yes! Maybe I will post a photo. Or maybe one day I'll be social and we can cram all of the MJs into my teensy apartment...