Today for Kelli’s Show and Tell I’m sharing a couple of paintings that are very special to me.
When I was 14 years old, I signed up to take a 3-day summer art class at a children’s museum taught by Robert Butler, a Florida painter famous for wildlife and landscape art. You can see some of his original works and prints here and here.
My mom went out and purchased all of the supplies needed for the class, and I was so excited when the day arrived for the first session. My joy quickly turned to trepidation when I walked into the studio and saw a room full of adult students. I was the only student under the age of 35. They obviously had all painted before; I was a novice.
Each morning I really didn’t want to go back to class, but I stuck with it. I struggled to keep up with the rest of the students, but Mr. Butler was very patient with me and continued to encourage me each day. When the three days were over, I had an almost complete painting. The only thing missing was an egret that I didn’t have time to add. I was still pretty happy with the end result.
My painting is missing the egret.
As I said my goodbyes to Mr. Butler, my mom asked him if he would be willing to sell the painting he had done during the class. He said that he had never done that before, but he graciously agreed to do so for a very low price even though his originals go for top dollar. Mr. Butler wrote an encouraging note to me on the back of his original. He also sketched the egret on the back of my canvas for me to use as a guide when I added mine.
I never did finish the painting, although I’d still like to. I’m not a very artistic person, and soon after I did this painting I picked up athletics as my hobby instead.
Mom had both of the paintings mounted in matching frames. They’ve hung side by side in her home until recently. Now they’re at my house, but I haven’t hung them on the wall yet. I’m going to have the canvases cleaned first.
I would never consider selling Mr. Butler’s work. These two have to stay together.