Patty Unleashed

Patty Unleashed: 8.9.17

The first piece of art (and I use that term loosely) I purchased was for my friend Matt’s 21st birthday.

It was a print, nicely framed, of dogs playing poker and drinking beer. It might have been on velvet. The last painting I purchased was the result of a photo I saw on a friend’s Facebook page. It is of Stingray Point in Coronado, California. It is also nicely framed and most definitely not on velvet. If you are thinking, ‘She doesn’t know anything about art,’ I would have agreed with you until a month ago.

Yes, some people may consider me art illiterate. I can’t draw a straight line nor can I walk one if I am being perfectly honest. There is something weird about the way my brain is wired, and what I see is not what ends up on the paper. I have no talent. It has always bothered me. So much so that I have avoided taking an art class since eighth grade. I went to college at Washington University, where real artists study, so there was zero chance I would enroll in an art class there. It would be like an art student showing up for managerial accounting. Over the years, I’ve visited the Saint Louis Art Museum more times than I can remember, but just seem to find myself drawn to the same Monet painting time after time. Part of the problem is, I don’t have the vocabulary to use when talking about art. Is it oil or watercolor? Surrealism, Impressionist or Art Deco? Help me understand Modern Art! What does it all mean? Or does it really mean anything at all?

As a result, you would think my walls would be bare. Wrong! They are filled with all kinds of paintings I’ve purchased, many from painters in Missouri and some from places I’ve traveled. As I said, the most recent was from an old friend, Ron Larimore, because of a photo on Facebook. Ron and I had not spoken in more than 15 years. He was a friend from another time in my life that involved suits, heels and spreadsheets. Actually, Ron never wore heels, but as we sat in plenty of meetings together, I can honestly tell you that we never discussed art. Nor did I ever glance at his notebook and think, ‘Impressive doodling for a financial guy.’ But apparently he has been painting since 1964—who knew? When Ron retired, he moved to Taos to ski and also discovered a wonderful new community of artists, which inspired him to paint even more.

When I called Ron to talk about his painting, I explained that I knew nothing about art, but his most recent work needed to hang on my wall. Of course, I added, ‘I have no idea if a piece of art is good or not.’ Probably not what an artist wants to hear, but he told me, ‘The main thing is to buy what you like and like what you buy.’ So perhaps I do know something about art. Whether it is dogs playing poker or sailboats at Stingray Point, everything I have hung in my home makes me happy. I’ve never had buyer’s remorse when it comes to a painting. Think about that. I might not know all the right words (how ironic for a writer), but I know the right feeling. Check out my friend’s website, larimore.faso.com. His work is amazing. Better yet, if you are ever in Taos, visit his studio. Send me an email if you want more details.

Contact Patty at phannum@townandstyle.com.

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