Many years ago, when we lived in southern Indiana, I took my sons to a mall art show. As we walked by the displays of oils and watercolors, of pottery and woodcarvings, I happened upon a regional artist whose oil paintings called out and drew me in. We talked for a few minutes then I bought a small painting I found particularly pleasant. She had titled the meticulous oil At Pond’s Edge.
Time passed. The painting came with us to one new home, then another. Always the image of the tranquil pond with its wild grasses, bushes, and butterflies brought comfort. Then, at some point, my writer’s imagination took over. Something happened at that pond, but what? It niggles at my thoughts even now, after all these years. I know there is a story to tell. Someday, it will come to me and I will weave the scene into my book. Maybe not in this work, but surely in my next.
In recent years, I have come to wonder about the artist. I recall that she had many other lovely paintings on display at that long ago mall art show. Her name is Linda Jerina Buis. Is she still painting, still selling her fine work? Or has she gone on to other interests? Internet searches came to naught. Until recently.
Last month I discovered another oil painting by Linda Jerina Buis. It was for sale online. I emailed the friendly lady who had posted the ad. I learned that she had bought Down on the Farm from an estate sale near her home, somewhere outside Kansas City. After several quite interesting emails, we arranged the sale. From a writer’s retreat in Maine, I snail-mailed her a postal money order and she carefully packaged and shipped the painting to me cross county. I opened it with joy.
As I hung my new painting, a sense of wonder came over me. There is a story here too, I thought, in this painting of an old farm and the surrounding countryside. Someday soon, I will write it.