I’m thrilled to say that I will be participating again this year in “Wanderlust” the 4th annual travel themed, postcard sized, art show at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco.
A preview of my two postcard sized drawings for Wanderlust 4.
My work for the show began with the idea that every great trip leaves a great story to tell. And so I began to create a scenario in my mind of a couple of adventurous types traveling back in the day, and what they may have experienced, when suddenly the story went sideways, (as happens all too often) and morphed into something more. Many times there is a story running through my mind as I create a piece of work but I usually don’t write them down letting the viewer interpret the work for themselves. This time I did write the story down, the story of a couple of travelers, an artist, and an old red book…
To the finder.
Inspired by discovery of the Great Pyramid, wealthy socialites Granger and Lyla Cashington left their home in London for an extended journey abroad. Their excursion took them to a particularly remote corner of the globe whereupon a series of navigational miscalculations threw them off track. In a failed attempt to retrace their route, they stumbled across a remote, uncharted settlement, shrouded in dense mist.
Visitors were a rare commodity in this unknown place, and the Cashington party was treated to a royal welcome. A lavish ceremony was held in their honor and all manner of food and drink were served. One exceptional delicacy was reserved for the Cashingtons alone and the villagers buzzed with glee like giant insects as they ate it.
Guided by villagers, the crew returned to their path, made way to a seaport and then boarded a ship for home. Friends and relations gathered to welcome Granger and Lyla upon their return, and a series of dinner parties were planned in their honor.
At the last of the summer soirées a traveling artist was engaged to render drawings of the guests. He made his living journeying from town to town offering his skill as a purveyor of “distinctly different” portraits, and was hired after insisting he possessed the unique ability to discern traits in his subjects others could not.
After much pleading by the hosts, Granger and Lyla Cashington reluctantly agreed to sit and let the artist draw their likeness, but when they appeared before him he gasped aloud. His legs buckled and he knocked over over his easel scattering pencils and paper across the floor. Pale as a ghost he fled the party for the safety of his hotel room.
A chill ran down his spine. His head was spinning. What he had seen at the party was the stuff of nightmares. The world saw Lyla and Granger Cashington as a glamorous high society couple but his view was different. He saw the burden they carried, the darkness spreading through them. Should he tell someone? Call the police? Who would believe his story?
Deep in thought he wrestled with his choices until suddenly the clanging of alarm bells jolted him upright.
A raging fire had broken out. The flames spread quickly, engulfing the hotel and knifing their way through his door. His world became an orange-red blaze and he fell to the floor unconscious. The artist survived the inferno, but, badly burned, and raving unconsolably, he was conveyed to a dilapidated, distant, sanitarium where any story of the Cashington’s true nature, as only he perceived it, was dismissed as madness.
Recovered, but frail and withdrawn, the artist spent his days sketching in the sanitarium’s library. He drew incessantly, mumbling to himself as he recorded his memories of the Cashingtons and their terrible secret. His doctors claiming the “demented drawings” injurious to his health destroyed the work as quickly as it was produced and so he hid his two most carefully rendered pieces between the pages of a red cloth bound book.
The artist remained at the sanitarium until his passing. The decrepit building was eventually torn down and it’s contents, including the musty old library books, were donated to charity. It was an unremarkable collection of books to be sure, with the exception of one volume, an old, red cloth bound book, containing a cautionary tale about the dangers one may encounter when exploring the uncharted and unknown, a warning recorded not in the text on its pages, but in the drawings placed between them.“Wanderlust 4”
opens Saturday December 10 at Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco.