Living Bouquet, (c) 2005 Jeane Vogel Photography
20x20, $250 framed
I was at the Highland art fair this weekend. Highland is a sweet rural Swiss town in Illinois about 25 minutes from St. Louis. It's not a huge fair, but it's fun and local and I generally do OK there.
To be honest, there weren't lots of sales this weekend. People are a little scared and holding their wallets tight. For some, art is a luxury. For others, art is life saving and feeds their souls.
For still others, the art journey is just beginning.
Like many fairs, the Highland fair has a children's section where kids can purchase art for $5. Artists at the fair contribute work and children can shop on their own and begin their art collection. It's a great idea and I always contribute two or three pieces. The art we donate is worth far more than the $5, but it's priceless in the hands of a child.
About an hour before the show closed on Sunday, a young boy --maybe a 3rd grader -- approached me with one my images, Living Bouquet in his hands. He had just bought it and it wanted to meet the artist.
His parents, obviously proud of him, stood a short distance away. He chose a rather sophisticated piece for a child and he wanted to tell me what it meant to him: it's peaceful, he said.
Wow! My work is inspired by the Impressionists and evokes a lot of emotions and interpretations. Most adults don't understand modern Impressionism, but kids view art with their heart and souls -- not their heads. They don't care if someone else thinks the work is "important" or "vital." If they respond to it, it works for them. If not, they move on.
I removed the work from the plastic and inscribed the back for him. He left as if he had met a rock star. He made my day.
It was my best sale of the day. And I didn't make a dime from it.