Leona and others
I’ve been asked by several people “How do you find your Artists?”…well…all I can say is “In my travels I find them and they find me”. Sometimes I get the feeling they are being sent to me…at the right place and the right time. It’s not something I question. I accept it as just something meant to be…not sure exactly who’s directing…but I have my suspicions. That’s the truth.
For the last 5 years, when I go anywhere I’ve had a habit of picking up cards. I never knew exactly when I would be able to open a Gallery…I just knew I would. So, for years, I’ve been collecting cards…from Artists. They have to be (of course) talented…but they also have to be friendly, easy going people. I have headaches enough on my own…I’m not interested in having more…so each person’s personality is taken into account. Whenever I stop and see something I like (and think others would too), I ask about it. Depending on the eye contact, the willingness of the person to explain, the light in their eyes and my comfort level around them, I make a decision. Life is short and this is supposed to be fun. I’m easy to talk to so if they aren’t, then it just isn’t for me.
Leona is a perfect example of the right place, right time theory. About 14 months ago while I was traveling with my lovely niece Nicole, we decided to go to Death Valley (the best kept secret I know). Death Valley only has 3 places you can stay at. One, which is ridiculously priced at something like 300.00 bucks a night and 2 older (but still nice and homey) lodge type places right in the heart of the valley. I pulled my jeep up to one of the 2 lodges to go inside and get our room secured. I past a woman sitting on the bench just outside the office. I noticed she was making something and I can never resist watching someone work with their hands. I used to sit for hours and watch my Dad at his drafting table, or tying fishing lures or propagating plants…so the habit has stuck from childhood. It’s probably why I love Artists in general.
When I came out of the office, I plopped my rear down on the bench next to her and asked what she was doing. She was making a basket…and not just any basket but the most intricate little basket I’d ever seen up close! She had some type of large bag with her and she proceeded to take others out. Now I’m not really a basket person. I’m have very techie modern tastes but these baskets were…well they were magnificent! I remember seeing one with some sort of carved turquoise handle on the top while I asked her how she had learned to make them. She told me she learned the craft from her Mother and that her Mother had won awards for her baskets. My heart began to smile.
Well, we talked for a while and then I realized she was a great match for my little Gallery that (at this point) was still in my head. I told her what I had in mind…and I saw that light in her eyes. She gave me a card and I held onto it until I finally found my building. I contacted her and the rest of the story will continue in the Gallery. Oh yes, her Mother…she’ll be a participant too!
Leona sent me a couple of pictures. One is of some of the baskets she and her Mother have made recently. The other is of something I have never seen done in all my life. She makes purses…out of cowboy boots! You have just got to check these thing out!