Thursday, January 17, 2008

Warrior Mouse

I've been looking to buy some original art for a few years now.

Actually, "looking" is probably too strong a word. I've mostly just been thinking about it. As in, I'll walk past a gallery and think, "I should buy some original art."

And that's about as far as I've gotten.

I did walk into a gallery in Gastown once. Or was it a studio? I'm not really sure. Maybe people who can't tell the difference between a gallery and a studio shouldn't be buying art in the first place.

Anyway, the gallery (or studio) owner asked me what kind of art I was looking for. I told him I didn't have anything specific in mind but that I'd know it when I saw it. Which, now that I think about it, is exactly the same way I've trying to find a boyfriend. Maybe it's no coincidence that I am both artless and loveless.

The gallery (or studio) owner didn't seem to mind that I was completely clueless. He disappeared into the back of the shop and returned with painting after painting for me to look at. Some of them were awful. Some of them were amazing. But none of them had that extra special something that made me think, "This is the one!"

I walked out of the shop feeling like I should just buy a canvas and paint something myself. I stopped thinking about buying art for a while.

And that's when it happened. A few months after I stopped looking for it, I found my first piece of original art. Although, technically, my dad found it for me. Which is funny because my dad and I don't share the same taste in art. At all.

My dad collects paintings of barns and lakes and canoes and trees. He also collects wooden ducks and plastic frogs. Which is all well and good for him but a little bit too lawyer's office for me.

Anyway, when I was back home in Toronto for Christmas, my dad announced he had bought some art from a 70-year-old client of his who had recently taken up painting. I cringed when he described her artwork as "whimsical."

Here we go again, I thought to myself. What had he bought this time? A painting of a cat curled up on a quilt?

"It’s called 'Warrior Mouse,'" he said, holding it up for us to see.

My sisters and I laughed. We agreed that Warrior Mouse was awesome.

And just like that, I had found my first piece of original art without even looking for it.

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