In all the busy-ness of the last few weeks I totally forgot I was going to let you in on the (almost) 30-year saga of one of my early paintings. I did Echo Park XI in 1990 as part of a 16-painting series of lotus plants in a small eponymous park in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Here’s what it looks like–
A friend of mine from way back–Dave–stopped by for a visit years later when I lived in the Chicago area sometime in the 2000’s. As an avid art fan and collector he of course wanted a tour of my studio. It turned out this was his favorite of what I had on hand at the time. Keep in mind it was already over 10 years old. He wasn’t up for buying it, but I kept the compliment somewhere in the deep recesses of my mental file cabinet.
Fast forward to summer 2019. Painting is now nearing its 30th birthday. I get a chatty email from him in July reminding me of the annual Lotus Festival in Echo Park (https://www.laparksfoundation.org/laparks_events/2019-lotus-festival/) which of course prompted me to remind him that I knew it well, having painted the lilies many times. With no thought of a sale I also mentioned that I still had what I remembered to be his favorite, #XI. Turns out he was in the market and interested. I told him I could give him a good price but the shipping on such a large painting could be a deal breaker–Michigan to California, a bit over $200 and I throw in the shipping box for free. He went for it as I promptly fell off my chair.
So I did the FedEx thing and sweated its journey until I knew it arrived safely. Then I waited, hoping for a photo of it in its new home. What I got was even better–a video! Here you get to see the curved staircase by the floor-to-ceiling windows leading past other art works in his collection to the top landing by the front entrance door–and there it is! The whole place is filled with art, so this entryway makes a nice prelude to the rest of the collection.