Thursday, February 2, 2012

Searching For Lonely Times

This morning I loved the shadows and light
from our backyard. A fitting photo for a
blog entitled "Lonely Times".

Clint and I have been searching for Lonely Times.  Most times we don't have to go searching for lonely times in our lives, they can arrive when least expected.  The Lonely Times I have been trying to locate is a  painting of mine entitled Lonely Times.  I painted this watercolor painting in 1977.  What a storied past behind this painting!

The entrance to the original main lobby known as
the Magnolia Building where Lonely Times was hung.

  • I was inspired to do this painting after seeing an elderly lady looking out her window in my hometown.  I would see her often as I sat in the car at our local grocery store.   
  • Lonely Times won Best of Show at our county fair.
  • In 1977 I gave Lonely Times to a "friend" as a gift, the "friend" set it aside in his closet in much the same manner he was treating me. I read in the obituaries he passed away a few weeks ago.
  • There was a large art show in Knoxville, the "friend" loaned me Lonely Times to enter in the show. The entries had to be for sale and I put what I considered a very large price on the painting so I could return the gift to him after the show.
  • Lo and behold, Lonely Times sold!  
  • After not receiving the money from the gallery on the sale of the painting, I called and was informed the "buyer" had not come through. That is not the way to do business but it worked okay for me in this chain of events regarding Lonely Times.  I brought Lonely Times home and had ended the relationship with the "friend" during those previous weeks. 
  • Lonely Times won a $100 best media award at the Dulin Gallery Art Show in Knoxville.  There were over 600 works of art entered and the painting won one of four awards.
  • I entered Lonely Times and another piece in a major statewide competition for Tennessee Art to hang in the Opryland Hotel. in Nashville. This was during the winter of 1977. 
  • My sister drove us to enter my work---my mom, daughter and me to Nashville during a snow storm.  She turned at an exit and we slid into a circle.  Very scary, we ended up having to buy chains for the car.
  • Lonely Times was purchased as part of the Tennessee collection and was hung in the original main lobby of the Opryland Hotel, in front of Rachel's Kitchen.  This building is called the Magnolia Building of the Opryland Hotel.  
  • I made a new friend and learned the woman in the painting was my friend's grandmother!  My friend Joan and I saw the painting together and she and her family were happy about the inspiration involving their loved one. 
  • I received a call from a woman who said she just had to have Lonely Times. I explained it belonged to the hotel, etc.  Another time I did a commission for a similar painting and it was delivered to the purchaser by a university president. :-)
  • Tom Griscom, Vice-President of WSM Radio,  would call me occasionally to inquire about any new paintings I had completed.  Tom was a judge in the competition and really liked my Lonely Times.
  • Lonely Times has hung in the hotel for decades, I would love it when local people from my town would tell me they saw it.  There was a lucite plaque under it with my name and the name of the painting.  Every time I would go to Nashville, I would want to visit my painting. I had not seen it since the last time Clint and I went back in the early 2000s.   

Tom Griscom, Vice-President of WSM Radio,  had been with the station
since 1950 and was head of the Opry's broadcast operations.
He called me several times after the purchase of the painting
to inquire about my latest paintings.  He was fond of Lonely Times
and was a judge in the competition.

Clint and I on our way to see Lonely Times after many years.  The grounds there
at the hotel
are beautiful.

There are 50,000 tropical plants over nine acres in the Garden Conservatory at
the Opryland Hotel.
There is a indoor lake, a river and waterfalls.

The Opryland Hotel is out of this world!  We made these pictures
when we were there in January.

An old newspaper clipping dated Sunday, March 26, 1978.

My painting in the catalog ...

Detail from the catalog ...

Awarded a best media award, $100 at the Dulin Gallery
in 1977.  There were four awards with over 600 entries.

One of the best pictures of the painting taken by my dad and step-mother in the 1980s.

My sister and I attended a reception at the hotel honoring
the artists.  This picture was made April 2, 1978.

(I was goin' through my Edy Williams phase with that hair!
Also, ignore dark splotches on photo on my face
that in real life are not on my face :-))

Clint and I never found my painting, Lonely Times.  We walked and walked and searched and searched.  We inquired of some employees and had one nice woman make some calls and still there was no word on Lonely Times. We have also Googled and Googled.  This afternoon I called a number at the hotel and spoke with a woman about the paintings.  I told her where my painting was hanging.  She told me the painting was hanging in an area that was most damaged by the Nashville flood of 2010. She said it quite possibly could have been destroyed.  I had not expected to be so emotional when she told me this and apologized to her.

I've cried and cried ...

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