Saturday, April 30, 2011

The painting

Artists Union Exhibition Center
Saint Petersburg, Russia

Some stories are so unusual, they scream to be told.

One of my galleries has not updated their website in a number of years. They'd lost their graphics guy and one thing let to another, with the owner uninterested in the internet, well... it never got done. The website stayed frozen in time. Frozen since 2007.

I'm not judging here. My own website has been frozen in time as well and I can update it myself. No need for a graphics guy. I'm just giving you this information because it's important to the story.

Nothing on the site revealed that it hadn't been updated and recently a client contacted the gallery inquiring about a particular painting. The gallery owner couldn't give him an answer. He must have been embarrassed because the site has since been updated. Yeah! I received an email from the gallery asking if the painting was still available.

At first I didn't even know which painting it was. You understand how that is, right? I recognized the title, but I painted it in 2006. I've done a few paintings since then. Embracing the Sea. What painting was that? Then an image came to mind. Yes, I knew for certain that painting had never sold and was still available. I immediately went looking for it in the haphazard stash of canvases that continue to grow in a corner of my cellar.

It wasn't there.

Think, think. Where can it be? My mind quickly traveled to other various venues where art is hanging. No. Not at any of those places.

Then it hit me. Please continue to read on. My continuity switches here, but it's all for the story...

In 2008, I exhibited 22 paintings in Saint Petersburg, Russia. That in itself is a long story, but not the one I'm telling you today. I was invited there by the Russian artist, Stas Borodin. He was having an enormous exhibition of 200 paintings and asked that I share this experience by exhibiting in the next room. Suffice to say it was very exciting and an experience I will never forget.

It was the first time I flew across the Atlantic. I had been writing to Martine-Alison in France for several years and the thought of being so close and not swinging by to say hi seemed sinful. After all, all the flights to Russia seemed to stop in Paris. How could I touch down there and not leave the airport? Impossible.

So on our way home from Russia, I went to meet her for the first time. It was really cool to have just exhibited, because not only did we get to see each other, we also got to see each other's art in person. I can still see us on the floor looking at all of it. I decided to leave four behind as she promised to exhibit them along side her own.

I can tell you're connecting the story now...

Yes, Embracing the Sea was in France. No wonder I couldn't find it in my cellar.

We needed it shipped. If you're following Martine-Alison's blog, you already know she was away for several weeks. The painting sat. The potential buyer had a deadline. A big celebration was to take place and he wanted the art for the occasion. Anxiety set in. The gallery owner called. Where is the painting? The client will be here tomorrow!

The painting is sitting in customs.

I suggested he tell the client why the painting was in France. I guess this story of the traveling painting intrigued him, because without ever actually seeing it, he bought it! Yeah again! Most likely he won't have it in time for his special event, but he does have an interesting story to tell his guests. I'm currently preparing a package including these photos to send to him.

Now aren't you glad you read the whole story?

Note: Embracing the Sea is the blue and white painting behind the ponytail in the bottom photo. Did you notice Golden Marsh, from my last post, also went to Russia?


  1. Susan, I love this story . . . and it's true!

  2. What a wonderful story, Susan. Sounds like something for a book.

  3. And what an aptly titled blog, Susan! LOL So glad you tracked down the painting and I've decided to hope that your buyer will still get it in time for his event!

  4. The story is fascinating! Congratulations on the sale and thanks for writing such an interestng blog! I love it!

  5. J'espère vivement que cette peinture arrive très vite et qu'enfin l'heureux acquéreur puisse en jouir... Grrrrrr LA POSTE!!! jamais pressée comme on le voudrait!
    gros bisous

  6. Wow!!! I loved this story and that you were brave enough to fly to Russia of all places and also France with your art!! I want to sit next to you on a plane and chat!

  7. Quite a story, I would almost say " From Russia with Love" . Congratulations on the sale , isn't that just fab after so many years to sell a painting you don't even remember?! xx

  8. What a GREAT story!!
    Congratulations on your sale!

  9. Yes i have been there it is indeed a marvellous feeling. I keep reading this blog and it keeps amazing me.

  10. Great Story!!! I'm so glad it worked out!

  11. Great story Susan!I'm sure he'll tell everyone who admires your painting, the travelling story to go with it!

  12. jolie histoire.. un peu déformé par la traduction..
    une magnifique expérience d'exposer si loin...!
    tu es une grande artiste!

  13. Heheh... great story! Loved the happy ending!

  14. Amazing story Susan! How wonderful that you showed in St. Petersburg! What an awesome experience! Congrats on the sale!

  15. That's a great story Susan. Is that MartineAlison in the photo?

  16. No Mary. This photo is in Russia. The two people with me are Dmitry and Natasha.

  17. Wow that is a very interesting story. Thank you for sharing


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