The Artist and the Travelers

I recently framed an original  “canvas”  that I had received many years ago.  It is not your “normal” artwork.  My granddaughter was at my house tonight and I told her how I came to have it.  It’s a rather funny story so I am sharing it with you tonight.

Probably. fifteen or so years ago when I was still working, I attended a conference in Savannah.  I felt really lucky to have this chance to go there.  Savannah is a lovely city with so much history-so much art-such good food! Two others from my area attended and we traveled together and stayed together in a hotel. The last day of our conference was only a half day.  We planned to eat at a really nice restaurant and then head out of town for the long drive home.

We decided to eat at the Lady and Her Sons Restaurant.  We had heard that the restaurant was a renovated cotton building and the food was great.  Sounded good to the three of us! We were seated on the second floor.  We couldn’t help but look around at everything.  Then a waitress came up and offered us an appetizer while we were still trying to decide what to eat.  She was serving Hoe Cakes.  For those of you who have no idea what that is, it’s a fried cornmeal pancake.  We told her we were going to stick to real food.  She told us she had cooked them for us and to have one.  We did! HMMM! It was fantastic.  So we had a few more and looked around  some more.  Then we saw “her.”  And “them.”  It was Paula Deen and her sons with aprons sitting in a booth nearby and eating.  We all tried to look at her while pretending not to look at her.  Have you ever tried that?  It’s pretty hard to do.  Generally you look like you are having some sort of neck seizure!

Then our food arrived. YUM!  As we were chowing down, we noticed a man setting up an easel in the corner and starting to paint.  He noticed us and turned so we could watch.  It turned out to be a watercolor of a live oak with Spanish moss.  It was gorgeous. Then he put it down and started another.  He used different colors and a different setting.   And he painted the scene on a paper doily.  Yep-a paper doily!! In a manner of 30 or so minutes, he had done three of these small pictures.  He then asked us if we wanted one.  Of course, we said, “Yes!”  He gave each of us one and started another.  He said he comes to the restaurant and eats lunch and does watercolors for the guests.  By this time he had turned another direction and was talking to another guest at the restaurant. SO the three of us began to discuss whether we should give him a tip.  Did he do this for a living?  How much should we offer him? I think we only had like $5 in cash between the three of us.  We didn’t know what to do.

Then we saw him pack up his stuff and walk toward our table.  We had sweaty palms with a few bills in it.  He gave us his card, wished us safe travels home and turned to leave.  So we didn’t give him anything.  But we did notice that he was an artist with his own gallery! We drove by it as we left town.  We realized we had a darling scene from a well-known artist for nothing. I am SO glad we didn’t insult him with our $5!

I have had mine rolled up in a container for years.  I recently ran across it and found a frame for it.  Why didn’t I do this sooner?