Wednesday, February 20, 2008

An artist's wife

I jokingly say I married Bill for his money, not so much his ‘cash in hand’ but for his potential earning power. On our first date he took me to The Hole in the Wall Gallery in Kalispell, Montana. We had looked at the art on the first floor and were climbing the stairs to the second, and there was his painting. He didn’t tell me, I had never seen his landscapes before, but I knew. At that moment I also knew Bill Inman was the best artist in the world.
After 19 years I realize he wasn’t the best then, but he is now! I enjoy watching him paint. It’s amazing how he pulls splendor from strokes seemingly laid half hazardly. It’s like watching a picture that’s out of focus slowly come into focus. I can tell his moods; thunderous clouds - frustration, dewy misty mornings – hope, strong vibrant reds and oranges – enthusiasm.
So what’s my job in all this? Support. Most people don’t realize how vulnerable an artist can be. Every piece that comes off his easel is him. Every juried show he doesn’t make is a personal rejection. Every criticism of his work is a criticism of him. It’s like an artist walks naked through a world of thorns. I can understand how an artist without a ‘cheer squad’ backing him can go a little crazy.
I used to wash brushes for him, but not so much anymore. I used to help him frame, but he’s trained Harrison and Eve very well for that task. For some reason Bill thinks I have an ‘eye’ for art, therefore he won’t call any piece done until I give it my OK.
I do try to keep him fed, which is hard because he doesn’t eat the normal American diet, but that’s for another blog….

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