Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
This hot weather and general lethargy make me stay inside more than I should. Staying inside makes me play on the internet.
Did you hear the alarms go off just then? I hear a fog horn blowing. When Facebook and emails have failed me, I head on over to the dreaded E-Bay. According to my profile I have been on there since 2003.
Again those warning bells. I sold a Buffalo on there and a Moose. I have bought numerous items…..
I was searching for collectible cinnamon sugar shakers. When I found what I was looking for I ventured on over to search for — an artist I had enjoyed back in the 70’s and 80’s.
Back a long time ago, when I had no kids and I think I earned $2.75 an hour one of my favorite things to do was go to the art fairs around Kansas City. There were many of them. The biggest was the Plaza Art Fair. Many artists from all over the Midwest.
I came across an artist named Daryl Murdock. She did fantasy art. Back in the days when dragons and unicorns and strange fantasy picture scapes were well known. Before they were associated with protests and rights movements. These were interesting pieces of detailed art.
Money was hard earned and not frivolously spent. I loved this lady’s work. I acquired probably one of her signed prints a year. They were carefully stored away. Someday I would get them out and have them framed.
She always knew us when we found her at the art fairs. Not by name as such, but she knew what I had purchased and was always friendly and talkative.
So it came to be I had five of her prints. All different all in my eyes, all detailed and lovely.
The last time we went to an art fair was probably 1984 or 85. Pushing an umbrella stroller that we eventually wore the wheels off of, I went in search of her.
My son in tow. His sister a year or so away, but once you have kids your priorities change and so does your spending habits. I found her latest print it was called the White Panther.
We chatted and she told me she had cancer and wouldn’t be doing her artwork anymore.
Since she wasn’t going to be at the shows anymore, there wasn’t much reason I needed to go. My favorite artist had stopped doing her art.
So my prints sat in the basement. Wrapped in plastic. About eight years ago, my family looking for something to give me for Christmas dug them out and had them framed in really nice wood for me. I was in tears when I opened them and later hung them up.
Art, like music is a personal thing. One of the art shows had a guy who had painted a life size tiger. Not only was it huge, it had the most beautiful life like eyes I had ever seen. How amazing it would have been to have that painting. But what would I have done with that huge painting? I didn’t even have walls big enough to hang it on. I turned away and passed on the beautiful creature.
Back to the present. I was roaming on e-bay. I typed in her name, as usual nothing came up. I decided to thumb through the listings of fantasy art any way. About half way down I found a seller with 12 of her signed prints. Well I didn’t need 12 prints when I already had some of them. I made the seller an offer and, they accepted.
These are no way collectible; they are no way worth anything to anyone but me obviously. They remind me of art fairs and miles of walking and looking at amazing art work by all sorts of people.
I know when I am gone the kids won’t fight over these.
I know the time for them has passed. But like music I enjoy the time they came from, the fact that I had met the lady who made them. I searched for the artist on line and there is nothing. She was a big artist in the first comic cons years and years ago. The only value they have is in my memories.
If you have collectibles, get them out and use them. If you have art work get it out and enjoy it. If you have vases or music boxes, use them. Wear that jewelry, If not give it to someone who will use it and enjoy it.
Possessions are only valuable if they evoke memories of family or times. If they don’t make you happy it is best to pass them on.
Also don’t make fun of what people choose to listen to or their taste in art.
As I said it is a personalthing.
Respect the fact that we all ave our own tastes.