“Wow, Lit Kit Libation Slingin’ Librarian and new bartender at the Saddle Up Saloon, this art show is happening!”
“Really Kid? I can tell there’s no word limit here. Just call me Lit Kit already. But yes, the bar is busy.”
“Yep, Lit Kit, there’s sure a mess a folks here ta show an’ see visual art work.”
“Heehee. Some a them make Shorty look tall. Look, there’s Ann Edall Robson. An’ who’s that sippin’ a tall glass a Sauvignon Blanc?”
“You two don’t get out much, do you? That’s author-illustrator Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. And she’s been the lead buccaneer captaining Friday Fictioneers for the past eight years. Look, I have to tend the bar. Go talk to Rochelle, she’s interesting.”
“Howdy ma’am. Welcome ta the Saddle Up. I’m Pal, this here’s Kid.”
“Yer a author-illustrator? Soun’s like a chicken-egg conundrum. Which comes first?”
“It’s okay, Pal, it’s a fair question. As to which came first, I have always wanted to be a visual artist and have drawn and painted as long as I can remember. I spent two years at the Kansas City Art Institute in the early 70’s debating with my teachers what art was. My greatest influence as an illustrator was Garth Williams who illustrated Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House Books. I’ve illustrated for others but, aside from a couple of book covers, my career as an illustrator has never taken off. But my last published book, A Stone for the Journey, is a hardback coffee table companion book replete with short stories to go with my trilogy of novels. My novels and the coffee table books are Jewish Historical fiction, which I refer to as the dark side of Fiddler on the Roof.
The flurry of painting started over the past 6-7 years. I began with painting sepia portraits of my characters beginning with Lafeyette Tillman who was the second black officer on the Kansas City police force.
I wrote character studies for the novels and put them in my blogs. My publisher liked them so much he proposed to publish the coffee table companion book. Who was I to turn down my dream book? He wanted full color illustrations. Someone else saw the illustrations and suggested I have prints made and offer them in art fairs. Meanwhile I shared my painting process and finished pictures on Facebook. I had two requests for Havah lighting the Sabbath candles (Gut Shabbos) before I had a chance to get them printed. Moonlit Night is a scene from the book. Once I’d finished the book I searched for subjects to paint. Wine glasses came first…then seascapes, most recently flowers…pretty much anything. If it catches my eye, I paint it. I also do portraits on commission, as you can find on my art page.
“Kid! Pal! A moment?”
“Excuse us Rochelle. Whut’s the matter, Lit Kit?”
“We have a problem… some sort of infestation…”
“Looks like an infestation a artist types. Jist serve ‘em like anybody else.”
“No. I keep seeing… little cowboys… in chaps…”
“Oh, chapfaeries! That kin only mean one thing! Toj must be here somewhere. Cain’t wait ta see more a her work since the Poet Tree sign.”
“Okay, if you’re not worried about these… chapfaeries, I’ll get back to work. I’ll tend bar, you two go tend to all these artists.”
“You bet. Look, there’s Toj now, all the way from Rabbit Bay, MI. Hey Toj! Good ta see ya at the Saloon again. Whoa. These paintings are amazing.”
“Thank you, Kid. You can see more of my work at Red Rabbit Studio .”
“I thought I’d show a couple of pieces that D. Avery likes.”
“Had ta drag her inta this, did ya? They’s somethin’ sketchy ‘bout her visual art.”
“Be kind Kid. I know she was working on a paint by number picture.”
“Hmmph! Seems calculated. Heck, she cain’t even stay in the lines with her literary art. But she’s got a good eye I s’pose. These are beautiful pieces, Bonnie Sheila.”
“Is that your jewelry too?”
“No, my son is the jeweler.”
“Shorty’d like thet the goldsmith has taken ta workin’ with rocks!”
“Oh shift! Speakin a Shorty an’ rocks! Look’t this installment from World Headquarters.”
“Do these photos count?”
“She says she’s collaboratin’ with Lady Lake. Reckon it’s art. But what about these next ones?”
“Shorty claims these are the art behind her art…”
“Now here’s some art I could really git wrapped up in. Quilting!”
“I just brought some of my quilts over for the wild rumpus. You might recognize one of the subjects.
Oski is the mascot of the University of California at Berkely. My bonus children (children I didn’t bear but claim as my own) are both graduates from there so I made this quilt for them. It doesn’t have anything to do with my writing, except, when it’s finished, it is finished, regardless of mistakes.
Max is the little boy in the book Where the Wild Things Are. My new bonus grandson’s name is Max, so I made this as his baby blanket. It is machine appliqued and all sewing is by machine. It is not against copyright laws to reproduce a photo, or character, in fabric if you don’t make any money doing it.”
“Oh, these are wild! Who knew quilting was sech an art form? I sure am glad ya brought yer work by ta share with the folks.”
“Does that make it folk art, Pal?”
“Whoa! Stop. Back up, Pal. Look’t these photographs!”
“Why this is the work of Ann Edall Robson, all the way from DAKATAMA Country, home to a smidgen a her photographs and the place where the world can purchase them (should they choose to) in almost any form from wall prints, apparel, home decor, and even face masks. All with her photography on them.”
“Well based on these, it’d be worth a gander over ta her place.”
“Phewie, Pal, that was quite a show. Thing is, I know they’s lots more visual artists out there. Sure hope folks feel free ta add links ta their own work in the comments. Thinkin’ we’ll have ‘nuther Art Showin’ ‘nuther time, too. Mebbe folks’ll wanna be featured an’ will git in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.”
“Hope so, Kid, hope so. An’ folks, if ya see somethin’ ya like, let the artist know in the comments an’ by droppin’ in on ‘em.”
Artists, in order of appearance:
Rochelle Wisoff-Fields https://rochellewisoff.com/portraits-by-commission/
Toj (Teacher of joy, Tammy Gajewski) https://www.deviantart.com/ferrelbrush
Bonnie Sheila Crescents & Coils
Nick Ray http://www.nicholasraygoldsmith.com
Susan Sleggs https://susansleggs.com/
Ann Edall Robson https://ann-e-robson.pixels.com/
If asked, Pal & Kid will deny that they spill from the pen of D. Avery. They claim to be free ranging characters who live and work at Carrot Ranch and now serve up something fresh every Monday at the Saddle Up Saloon. If you or your characters are interested in saddling up for a wild ride as a saloon guest, contact them via email@example.com.