Wednesday, April 29, 2009

People & Things in Your Life

This week, a very good friend's mother passed away. Although it wasn't a surprise, still it hit hard. My friend chose to spend hours on the road several times a month over the course of the year that her mother was in hospital. In the last few weeks, she made the 4 hour round trip almost daily. I think she didn't want to have any regrets. And although it may have been a bit trying sometimes, juggling work, kids and an ailing mother, I think she's at peace with how she handled things.

The whole thing got me thinking about decisions we make every day about who and what we include in our lives. We all make choices daily about who we spend time with as well as how we spend it. I don't think anyone ever regrets spending a few hours with someone who makes them feel good or is important to them in some way. The same goes for the items we surround ourselves with.

I'm not suggesting that buying everything we see is the ticket to happiness, far from it. But every now and then an object, collectible, car ... whatever, comes up that you just know you'll regret passing on.

"To believe in yourself and to follow your dreams, to have goals in life and a drive to succeed, and to surround yourself with the things and the people that make you happy - this is success!" - Sasha Azevdo

I've heard Michael's philosophy on the whole, 'missing out' thing. It goes something like this: "You don't regret the one you did buy (unless it's a real lemon of a car) but you do regret missing out on the one you really wanted."

About 6 years ago, in search of a 2nd classic car, Michael spotted a 1970 Mach 1 in the Auto Trader. It was located about 2 hours north of us. I couldn't go see it with him, so Michael set off on his own. He and I talked about it before he left. He felt it was a fair price for the car if it was in the condition as described. I didn't resist, in fact gave him the green light to go ahead - no phone call needed. It turned out to be better than he thought, a great specimen of a Ford Mustang, Mach 1! Pewter with a red interior, I think it had the fold down back seat and air conditioning.

For some reason, Michael hesitated. Having a clear path to purchase it, he chose, instead to hop into the van and give me a call. As he pulled in across the street from where the Mach was parked, he saw another guy shaking hands with the owner and then both of them walking into the house together. And that was that. To say he regretted losing the car, would be an understatement. Needless to say, he's never made that mistake again!

This is true of other things as well. Those that collect Michael's car art know what I'm talking about: missing out on a limited edition print or canvas. Michael's Mach 1 print, Mach Speed, sold out a couple of years ago. I've lost count of how many requests we've had for it since then. There are a lot of people kicking themselves, especially since it's tripled in price in the secondary market. Many have asked about a second printing, but as a limited edition, once they're gone, that's it. It is available as a Gallery Edition Canvas.

Take the time to smell the flowers. Spend time with a friend or loved one. Apply for that job. Ask that person out for coffee. And surround yourself with people and objects that enhance your life. - Linda

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Is Art is Healthy?

I picked up a copy of our local newspaper today and in the Arts & Entertainment section I came across the headline, "Doctor prescribes a healthy dose of art." You can see how that would peak my interest, with Michael being an artist. As it turned out, the article was about an area doctor who took the building her old practice was in and converted it into an art gallery which would feature her abstract paintings as well as those of other local artists. The headline obviously originated from her being a physician as well the following quote:
"Art is very truthful. What comes out is very honest; it comes from the soul, from one's spirit."
Anything that powerful has to have a healthy effect on us. That got me thinking about art and what it contributes to our lives. We've always said that although it's not a staple, like water or bread, having beautiful things surrounding us is important to our well being and in that sense art is essential to our lives. For some, a colorful floral or rich landscape brightens their day. For others a Norman Rockwell-style piece reflecting the past is the ticket. And for others still, it's a subject they are passionate about. Like cars.

I met one of our clients in person last summer. Since we don't do very many shows, it was somewhat of a rare treat. His wife told us that he has one of Michael's prints (I think it's "They Came With The Farm" - the all Mopar painting), hanging in the hall just outside their bedroom door. Each and every morning he spends 5 minutes gazing at the print. He says it sets the mood for his day. His wife said that he's been happier since he started the ritual - he rarely misses a day!

Michael is a very talented and versatile artist. And I'm not just saying that because I'm his wife. Over the years, he's expertly painted wildlife, architectural landmarks, vineyards and orchards. In fact, he's been asked on more than one occasion to expand his portfolio to include other subject matters. But his passion is the automobile. He just loves cars, plain and simple. And that's why he paints them. He takes enjoyment in painting them, driving them, working on them and just plain looking at them! Call him a gearhead, motorhead or enthusiast, he's right in there with the people that collect his work. It's that passion that comes through in each and every painting. It's that passion that people feel when they look at his work.

So, is art healthy? Absolutley. It adds color to our walls and to our lives. It brightens a gray day and lifts our spirits. It brings us joy and creates positive feelings. Sounds pretty healthy to me! - Linda