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  • Writer's picturePhee

View from the Window

Small galleries like C.O.A.L. in Carlsbad or Fallbrook Art Center and I’m sure others, don’t want artists to put NFS, Not For Sale, signs on their paintings.

They say, if you don’t want it sold, put an unreasonably high price on it and the chances are very good it will still be yours at the end of the show, but, for all appearances, everything in the show is for sale.

So why is something not for sale?

Artists fall in love with their own work for various reasons but still want the public to see it. I have a friend who put so much work into a painting she couldn’t bear to part with it. As for myself, I’ve got a favorite in my little “gallery” here but it’s a favorite for a very different reason. It’s View from the Window.

My husband, Ken Graydon, was diagnosed with metastasized melanoma in November 2010.

Small tumors appeared in his lungs and brain but in those rash moment of first diagnosis, a person gets a full head of steam— “I’m gonna whip this” and Ken was vigorously confident of his super powers. Kaiser doctors wanting to do all they could, scheduled radiation of his brain hoping to shrink the two very small tumors, and with luck, kill them. Their facilities, then, for this kind of treatment were off Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. They owned an apartment complex across the street and gave us free housing in a comfortable suite of rooms. I stared out the window to see what was there and saw the palm trees, the church and the little bungalow-style house and snapped a picture. I painted it when we got home.

Ken died in July, 2011. His melanoma resisted all forms of treatment. The painting inspired by the view from the window hangs on my wall today.

I’m glad to have it. I’m glad to have painted it. I’m glad it’s in this “gallery.” It is for sale though I might put an unreasonable price on it. An artist friend scoffs at the idea of not wanting to sell your work. She’s right. I can always paint another one.

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