As an artist, it is so thrilling to have my art purchased and cherished by someone like Mariel who can also be articulate about her decision to acquire what spoke to her. This is what she shared;
by Mariel Smith
I first encountered Light of the Earth 1 at Kathleen’s home and studio. My boyfriend Andrew and I were there as part of the annual Art Tour that many local artists participate in. It was my first time at her home, and it was absolutely lovely. We got a tour of the garden, the bread oven, and their lovely home which is full of light, warmth, and color (very welcome on a chilly November day!).
|©Mariel Smith & Cricket, with Light of the Earth 1 by KO’B|
As I wandered through her studio and living room, I was stopped short by her collection inspired by Chavaux Cave, a French cave with spectacular prehistoric drawings and paintings in it. Andrew and I had recently watched the documentary about it, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, and been transfixed by the depth and beauty of the ancient artwork.
To see those familiar images of bison, bear, and mountain lion woven within Kathleen’s hallmark colors, botanicals, and found objects was absolutely delightful. While the original images, which are etched with charcoal on tawny cave walls, have their own earthy beauty, they were an entirely different experience when seen on a backdrop of cool sherbet and sunny terra cotta, the colors drawing my eye through the piece.
The geometrical shapes and botanicals layered over the cave painting image created a depth that drew me in to the center, made me want to step inside the piece and meditate on “Always Merry and Bright,” the words written in flowing script at the bottom. There wasn’t enough time in the short fall day to see how this piece caught the light, to examine the various shapes and lines revealed only by long contemplation. There was only one solution: I would have to take it home with me!
Unfortunately, my budget was such that I could only pay for it in installments (which Kathleen graciously allowed me to do!), but this little hiccup actually worked out serendipitously–by the time I would have the piece paid for, Andrew and I would be celebrating our anniversary, and it was the perfect gift.
In giving it to Andrew, the piece not only commemorated our relationship and one of its earliest and most enjoyable experiences yet (learning about Chevaux Cave), it also marked the day we made two new friends, Kathleen and her husband Greg, who shared their home, their food, and their wisdom with us. Light of the Earth1 now hangs above our fireplace, giving our living room an extra glimmer of light and reminding me of both the most special person in my life and the other very special person who brought this spectacular piece into the world.