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Len Vertefeuille was born and raised into a loving family on the East coast. He now lives in North Carolina and he and his wife Lisa have two children who mean the world to Len. He has been working in the Warren Wilson College kitchen since 1989. Len enjoys cooking for and working alongside ...


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Richard 's Story > Chapters > Stories-Writings-Screenplays 1977 to 2009

A Reprive form the Valley of Red Rocks in a Metamorphic Tale... 

 
Date Range: 05/20/2009 To 05/20/2011   Comments: 0 Views: 10250
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A Reprieve...

   It was a painting experience outdoors when I was working plein-air in the Sedona area. I met a fellow who saw me working and gave me a thumbs up. That is always a positive feeling when someone acknowleges ones work. At least maybe he knew how many hours were put into this one piece as layers and layers of very costly paint went on the nice full linen canvas. There were passersby and some did not even glance. One or two walked by and gleered at the work (which was quite frankly a nice piece) and then looked away. Sometimes an artist feels out of his element when working in nature away from the studio. I used to get all sorts of comments when I would work plein-air and some of them brought on conversations. One would sometimes get to know people. That was yesterday. Todays personna dont want to make eye contact. It is wonderful however when someone does pay attention to what is being done around them. Even snark comments are sometimes welcome. The artists world is often a silent one...and as time progressed even this plein-air study seemed to make me want to run back to the quiet, good feeling of the studio instead of be caught in a sea of onlookers who turn their heads the other way.
This fellow...he came back and inspected the work. I felt good that he had some interest. We sat down together on a break and talked about art, nature and the envionment. His wife joined him and our conversation went on with a little deeper introduction. He asked about my background and had an interest in the artists life and work. I grabbed a loose paper that gave him a backround of who I was as well as a sample work, a printed review from NYC. He looked at me an smiled. "Your a serious one...as an artist I mean". I affirmed my standing as a painter/artist. He laughed..."A Starving Artist?" he joked?
His hand went on his chin as he sat down. The fellow went into deep contemplation as he studied the landscape far away and looked back at me and grinned. "You want to sell...it?...That painting?" He questioned. His eyes were sincere. It was just a study and I had been working about 4 hours on it steadily. It was far from a finished variety. "How much do you sell those paintings for....?" He questioned. I came along with my standard price sheet that is firmly engraved in my head as well as a brochure, newspaper story and book I had in my bag. I dont like the aspect of art that is really pumped up in price-50% or more usually goes to the gallery anyway...and of course..I try to go through private channels (Its better for the buyer). Even I have "overhead"...if the price were calculated...that overhead would make 'mighty expensive' art. (Then of course there are the catagorists that say..."well a painting of that catagory is: ____"...and the people who whould say "Give ya 10 bucks!"..its all a paintin' is worth to them.
Well I made a quote of $800.00 (standard for the variety and size, and even that was a "ye gods" and hopeful moment for what I have seen thus far in this neck of the woods so to speak.
He looked at me and smiled and brought his lips together tightly looked away.
"Really?" he said, and gave a curious glance back.
"Ok...tell you what Ill do..." He remarked, reaching into his pocket and recovering his billfold, grabbing the top margin of some bills with his fingertips.
"Here is $800.00" and handed me the money, a 500, and three hundreds, and pulled out another 400.00 cash. "Ok, here is my deal....I want 10 more of these kind of paintings, the price will be the same as I have just given you.." He said with a stern face. "Those are the terms" and gave me a handshake.  "Plus one thing...just one", he added. I smiled and shook his hand. "If I ever...and I meeeeaaan ever...see these paintings or a painting, or your talent... being sold for 800.00 or anything less than $5,000 dollars, I will personally...and I meeeeean personally pay you the difference, gratis..even if you dont sell the work, but you must keep to your art and to your mission and dreams...ok?".
I grew tense, asking myself who was this fellow.
He smiled and we shook hands. It had been a long time since I met this kind of sincerity, and this in passing. I wrapped his newly purchased work  for him-protecting the front from damage by a carton-and handed it to him. Then he gave me his card. "Keep in Contact...I want those paintings...and remember that promise"
I recognized some of the name...maybe.. but not all , just the last name on the fine parchment .
There are collectors, and there is sincerity.
A Reprieve.



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