Monday, September 6, 2010

Keep It Simple

Can you tell what this is and where it may have come from?

I know because it's been in my life every since I can remember.  My mother brought it home from Mexico in about 1964.  When I was younger I didn't pay much attention to it - it hung on our front porch and was just part of the scenery to me.  When I was told it was a cat, I, as a five-year-old was dumbfounded and for years didn't get it at all.  After my parents died and I went through some of their belongings, this jumped out at me and suddenly it had so much meaning to me.  Of course it's a cat!  Anyone can see that!  Since I am a cat lover and cherish many things I am lucky enough to have from my parents I hung it in the most logical spot - above the "cat feeding station" in our house - my mother would get it.

What my child's mind couldn't appreciate, an image coveyed in a very simplistic from by it's artist is something I can now marvel at.

Two years ago I was so excited to go to a swap meet held in Hollywood CA at the corner of Melrose and Fairfax.  I had never been to one before so each booth was fascinating to me.  There many used/vintage items, some new things, re-purposed furniture and original art.  It's always hard to decide on a favorite, but I latched on to an artist and bought one of his original paintings.

(Sorry about the crooked display - I think it was me with the camera)  I just loved the colors, simplicity and painting technique.  Many of his peices are of trees, but also iconic Hollywood and California images.  For some reason, this tree just spoke to me and it's hung in my family room for two years.  I tucked his distinctive business card in my wallet to remind me of my day at the swap meet and my conversation with him.  He had lived on the West Coast of Florida and went to the rival high school of my high school in Dunedin, Florida.

We went back to the swap meet this year, two years later.  I posted about that fun day here, and posted one of my favorite pictures:

As I was strolling about my eye was caught by a familiar booth with a very familiar style of art in it.  It was my guy!  I walked over very sheepishly and pulled out my wallet and showed him how I had his business card displayed in the little window, that we all have, in my wallet.  I hope he was flattered and not freaked out.  I only kept it there because it was a beautiful card and it always made me smile with good memories.  He was kind enough to pretend he remembered me, especially when we began discussing Clearwater and Dunedin, FL.  His work has changed a bit over the last couple of years, but he still captures the essense of his subject with the simplicity I enjoy.  This year my budget was a little tighter so I had to settle for a magnet version of one of his pieces, but oh, how I love this magnet!

It reminds me of cool nights, spooky stories, or even Wuthering Heights.  Most of all it reminds me of the fun I've had when visiting California, especially getting the chance to see The Writer and Sammy and exploring the state with them as knowledgeable guides.

Please feel free to visit the artist, Mark S. Brunner at his website.  I told him I would eventually blog about his paintings and he said he would like it if I included a link to his website.

Oh, and he gave me a new business card.  Now I carry both of them around with me in my wallet.


Orlando Grandma said...

I remember the painting when you put it up and admired it. Now that I know the story that goes with it I will study it more next time I come over to your home, and the cat, what a meaningful story that has too. It is a lovely piece of art.

Sue said...

I need to get out more, especially since this area is so close to where I live. I just hate the LA traffic, always have. I think all of our budgets are a bit tighter this year! Thanks for sharing the artwork, I'm going to go check out his website!

Take care, Sue

Mr. Connor said...

Nice artwork . I also will have to study it a little better. I do rememeber the cat in the dish.Don't remember the year ~ but the dish has made quite a trip around North America. Have not seen it since things were packed up in Dunedin.

Claudia said...

He is a wonderful artist. His images are so striking! The piece from your parents with the cat is indeed striking. No excess, just a line or two and there is the cat.

Alan said...

The artwork is very interesting. You have a good eye for spotting it.

KarenSue said...

Of course it's a cat! I love the colors of the plate and how simple it is.
I'm sure you made his day when you showed him his card, those are the kind of things that tells him he has made it.
Great post!
See ya soon buddy,