Buying Art – Part 2

Over ten years ago, I became friends with Elizabeth Rollins-Scott.  Elizabeth is a wonderful and beautiful person and she is also an artist.  I love her work.  Just before I moved into my last house in London, I purchased one of her paintings.  I apparently beat three other people to it and was offered by one of them more money than the asking price.  I turned them down.  As it was, the painting was more expensive than I could afford at the time, but it was love at first sight and I had to have it.  I just felt something immediately when I saw it.   The only word that comes to mind is LOVE.  It took me two instalments, but I managed to save the money for the painting.  Elizabeth and her partner installed it in my bedroom and it has been with me ever since.  Because the piece is rather large and delicate in some places, it also came with me when I went to stay with Amor.  Her painting has been one of the first things I have seen nearly every day for more than ten years.  I will never part with it.  In fact, I have people putting dibs on it when I die!

Not long after, when Elizabeth founded Diesel House Studios and they had their first show of artist’s work, I came across the work of Martyn Perryman.  At that time, Martyn’s work was on large canvasses.  Martyn’s style is completely different to Elizabeth’s.  I had this overwhelming feeling of peace when I looked at his paintings.  It wasn’t a feeling that I was used to at that stage of my life.  Unfortunately, I really couldn’t afford  to purchase any of Martyn’s paintings and I also didn’t have the right space.  I have had one of his flyers on a bulletin board ever since, thinking/hoping I would own one of his paintings one day.

After living in my new house here in Eastbourne for about a month, I realised that she needed something.  She needed a new painting to commemorate my/our new beginning.  After all, it is sort of a new beginning for my house also.    She had been used as a rental property and hasn’t had much TLC.  She needs a beauty treatment.  She isn’t having a complete facelift, but she will have a few nips here and a few tucks there.  Some updating is required and a new painting would be the perfect house warming present to her.

While putting away some papers, I found the document with a picture of Martyn’s work and credentials.  I looked him up on the internet to see if he was still in London.  I had to go up to London and thought I might like to have another look at his work while I was there.  We exchanged a few e-mails and it turned out he was having an open house at his studio on the day I was to return home so I arranged to meet him.  I have to say I was very excited.  After all this time, I wondered if I would even be able to afford  to buy anything, let alone still like his work.  I needn’t worry on any count.  In fact, I think Martyn’s work has gotten better and in some cases a bit smaller!  I didn’t have to worry about affordability or whether it would fit on the wall.  I just had to make up my mind which one I would have!  Choices, choices!  In the end, I chose four – one medium size and three small ones – three for me and one for Amor.

Because Martyn and I had Elizabeth in common, we had much to talk about and learned a lot about each other and what we had been doing over the years.  Martyn is very passionate about his work and I feel it shows in his paintings.  I love talking to creative people and learning what motivates and moves them to do what they do.  After a couple of hours, I felt I was with an old friend.

One of the wonderful things about Martyn is his partner Mary English. Mary is a sculptor and has a very interesting way of firing her work.  Have a look at her website as I cannot write about it and do it any justice.  You need to see the process.  I initially came to purchase a painting from Martyn and also ended up purchasing one of Mary’s sculptures.  I have to say that their work really complements each other; I have one of Martyn’s paintings hanging above the fireplace with Mary’s sculpture on the mantelpiece.

Mary happens to be American, from California, and has lived in England about as long as I have, or perhaps longer.  We are also about the same age.  I’m a bit older!  We seem to have some similar parallels in our lives.  East Coast girl meets West Coast girl.  I liked her from the moment I met her.  I think she is amazing!

Before I left with my purchases, I asked Martyn about the work that he had done that time I saw him a Diesel House and he told me he still had one of the paintings and asked me if I wanted to see it.  What a question!  So he brought it out.  I recognised it.  It was big.  Is it for sale?  Pause, yes.  How much?  He told me.  OK.  I just need to see if it will fit in my house.  I get home, take measurements and send Martyn an e-mail.  Will it fit this space that I have?  Yes it will.  When can you bring it over?  We set a date.  I’ll make lunch.  Can you hang it for me on my picture rail?  Yes, no problem.  Great!

The big day arrives and Martyn and Mary arrive with my new old painting!  Good thing I washed down the picture rail as it was rather dusty.  It took a little while to hang the painting just right, but it looks perfect on my sitting room wall.  I can’t stop looking at it.  I still get that feeling of peace when I look at it.

I had also asked Martyn to bring along some more of his smaller pieces.  When I showed Amor the two small pieces I had bought for myself, he fell in love with one that I didn’t think he would really like.  So I gave it to him (the things we do for love!) and kept the little one for myself that I was going to give him for his birthday – and because the other one went with the one he fell in love with ( I chose them as a contrasting pair), he bought it off of me.  The thing is this:  Amor loved the painting more than I did.  I really liked it.  I really love the one hanging above my fireplace and the large one.  The painting had to go to Amor because he had more feeling for it!  But of course I had to replace them!  Martyn had obviously been busy, as he had brought along some new ones I had noticed he was still working on at the time of my visit.  I chose two that I liked and now have a series of three!  They will be going in the dining room!

After the picture hanging, we went into the garden for lunch.  It was a lovely, sunny day!  A perfect day to be at the coast.   Unfortunately, they couldn’t stay very long because of other commitments, but promised to be back once the kids were done with school.  It was so lovely to see them again and get to know them better.  What started out to be a business arrangement is now turning into a friendship.  I love how that happened!

My new painting may not be the first thing that I will see when I wake up every morning, but it will be one of the first things as it is on my way to the kitchen for my morning coffee or on the way out when I leave the house!  It seems that feeling I had all those years ago has finally come to fruition, perhaps with a little bit of help from The Universe.  Sometimes we just need to be patient and the timing has to be just right in order to get what we want.

Now, I hear that Elizabeth has been working on some new pieces!  Hmmm!