I’ve always wanted to paint a picture. Over the years I’ve bought some paint, a canvas, some brushes. I dabbled a little, but never had an entire day to paint. Something always took priority like going into labor, emergency room visits, harvest, or children’s or grandchildren’s events. Today I decided that I was going to spend the entire day just working on a picture.
I dragged all the materials I had accumulated to the back of the house. The view there is pretty and it was a fine day. I opened the turpentine and the oil paints, squeezing dabs of color onto a paper plate. The smell of the paints and turpentine were divine. I donned my sunglasses and a sun hat and began to create.
It didn’t take long until I was totally immersed in the process. I brushed the paint into the canvas and let my imagination soar. I pictured the finished product featured on Antiques Roadshow far into the future. A great-great-grandchild would have inherited the picture and found it in her attic. When Antiques Roadshow came to town, she brought it to the show to see for how much she should insure it. My daydream went something like this:
“I see you brought a painting here to day.” The expert from Christie’s Fine Art Auction house began the conversation.
“Yes. I was wondering if you could tell me if it is authentic and anything about it.
“Do you think it is a Doreen Rosevold original?” the expert asked.
My future relative replied, “I hope so.”
“Let’s look at the signature. Yes, it appears to be the correct signature. This is the type of painting she was doing at the time. She loved painting landscapes but making them look nothing like a landscape. And did you notice that there are hairs from the paint brush embedded in the paint?”
“Yes. I did notice that.”
“Rosevold meant to do that. Some people believe they were there because she used cheap brushes, but the hair was intentional. It was sort of her signature trademark.”
“Can you tell me what this might be a picture of?”
“No one can ever tell us that. While we are quite certain the artist actually did look at something while she painted, she cloaked the scene in mystery as the picture never looked like the original scenery. Can you tell me where you got this? A Rosevold has never come on the market in the twenty years I have been working for Christie’s.”
“It was in my mother’s attic. She got it from her mother and it has been handed down for generations. No one has ever hung it anywhere as far as I know.”
“That is wonderful as it has retained its original color, though it could benefit from a professional cleaning and perhaps some repair where someone must have used it for dart throwing.”
“Have you ever had this appraised?”
“No. I was hoping you could give me some idea of its value.”
“Well the value has increased a great deal since Rosevold’s death. On today’s market a painting of this size and in this condition would bring…..”
Just then I tipped my turpentine and dropped my fully-loaded brush onto my only good pair of tennis shoes and the daydream came to an abrupt end.
I looked at the painting and threw it in the garbage, along with any delusions about a future Antiques Roadshow appearance. Garbage is garbage no matter how rare.