Monday, April 28, 2008

Heart's Destiny: How a Painting Changed My Life


In 1983 I was the sales director of a large, rather commercial gallery at Union Square in San Francisco. We sold lots of slick limited-edition serigraphs by famous artists. Every evening when I got off work, I’d walk by the Academy of Art College. I enjoyed looking in the windows, which displayed the work of the students. Often the work was a little raw and unfinished. It was usually on canvas, and I loved looking at the surfaces of the paintings, which revealed, as they say, “the hand of the artist.” There were visible brushstrokes and little mounds of dried paint. So unlike the perfect, museum-mounted products under glass that I sold all day.

One day a large grayish canvas depicting some kind of canine creatures made me stop. What were these? Dogs? Although there was some blue pigment here and there, the overall impression was muddy gray. The perspective was odd. One of the dogs had its rear in the air. One of my mother's terms popped into my mind. Engagingly ugly. Something about this painting held my attention. Every day I found myself stopping and looking at this canvas. The head of the dog with its rear in the air disappeared into... what? A kind of gray rectangle, which suggested a subterranean passage. Were these prairie dogs?

Then one day the painting disappeared from the window. Oh well, I thought, it was odd while it lasted. For the next few days I found myself walking on the opposite side of the street from the art college. I was trying to avoid the window, now devoid of the gray dogs. Despite myself, I would look longingly across the street, expecting the dog painting to come back. A cable car, crammed with tourists, ground its way up Powell Street, its bell ringing in my ears. That celebratory sound always lifted my spirits, but today I was sad. I trudged up Powell, feeling foolish for being sad and nostalgic over a painting I hadn't even seen up close. My common sense said...There will be other, better paintings...

I nevertheless found myself calling the college gallery one afternoon. What had happened to the large gray painting of canines? I inquired.

“Ohhh!” an enthusiastic female voice responded, “You’re talking about Cindy’s ‘Blue Wolves.'"

Blue? Wolves?

“So what happened? Did somebody buy the gray dogs? I mean...the blue wolves?"

“Oh no, it was part of our B.F.A. exhibition, which came down last week, and Cindy took it home with her. Why don’t I give you her phone number?”

“Sure.”

Well, that was easy.

And so I purchased my first original work of art. I went to Cindy’s apartment in Bernal Heights and paid her the asking price of $300--even in those days that was pretty reasonable, but hefty enough to carry a certain significance for both of us. Even Cindy's art professor husband regarded this as a significant transaction. He helped me strap the six-foot canvas to the top of a friend’s Datsun and we drove it across town, where I would hang it in my tiny efficiency apartment overlooking the financial district. It gave my space what the decorators call “scale.” My apartment grew visually. What had been a twenty-by-fifteen-foot rectangle dominated by a view of the apartment building across the street, became a twenty-by-fifteen-foot space commanded by an expanse of textured canvas. Thanks to the abundant natural light provided by the windows, the blue surrounding the wolves jumped out from the shadows and gave the entire room a dreamy, soft-tinted, blue aspect. What I didn’t know was that this little purchase was already beginning to give my life a kind of “scale.”

I didn’t know that, even as my friend and I gingerly transported “Blue Wolves” up and down the hills of the San Francisco neighborhoods between Cindy’s home and mine, my administrative assistant at the gallery was looking dreamily into the eyes of her boyfriend and deciding to travel to Europe with him. The next morning she resigned from her job. On an impulse I called the young artist Cindy and asked her if she would like a part-time job. She already had a job but suggested her friend Leslie, a graduate student. Leslie took the job and was great. Leslie introduced me to her friend Bennie.

“You’ll like him,” she said. “He eats that offbeat Southern food, just like you do."

Bennie visited me in my efficiency apartment, and we sat under the painting "Blue Wolves." I looked into Bennie’s blue eyes. I was falling in love. He liked my poetry and he liked my black-eyed peas. Ours was a karmic connection set in motion by our Southern ancestors. Like a big pot of turnip greens that had been simmering for generations in some invisible, cosmic kitchen. It was time to eat. Bennie looked into my eyes and said he saw “the wolf." He too was falling in love. Together we watched the sunset reflected in the windows of the apartment building across the street.

I started going to punk clubs with names like The Sound of Music to hear Bennie’s band play. Bennie went to Macy’s to buy some ties. He got a job in a competing gallery. He too had a knack for selling art and became the sales director of his gallery. We saved our sales commissions. We opened our own gallery on Union Street, an elegant shopping district sandwiched between Pacific Heights and the Marina. It was high-rent but not staggering-rent as was Union Square. We discovered there was a market for paintings that revealed “the hand of the artist." We married...Ten months later our daughter was born...

27 months after that we had a son...


And so on...

...We now sell paintings in New Mexico. Through the years our customers have shared their own stories with us, stories of how the paintings they've bought have altered the scale of their lives, changing them in surprising ways. What's more, I took up painting several years ago. My latest painting, "Heart's Destiny," at the top of this post, is my painted acknowledgment of the way our destinies seem to be altered for the better when we listen to the urgings of our heart. And "Blue Wolves"? It still hangs in a place of honor in our home. People visit us and sometimes they comment on the painting.



“Hey, those gray coyotes are cool,” they say.

149 comments:

Mima said...

San, love your painting. I normally have a real aversion to yellow, but here it works stunningly, I confess that I did have to sit and look for a bit before I read your post!

I think that art is a really significant part of our lives. I am really lucky as I come from a family that loves art, and a lot of the art on the walls of my house are by friends and family, and all have such meaning for me. With ones that I have bought each also has a story to tell, one especially holds great meaning, as it was bought with the money my Granny left me when she died and will always remind me of her.

San said...

Mima, thank you for complimenting my painting! I too used to find that yellow was one of my less favored colors, but through the years it's morphed into one of my favorites. I associate it with power and joy.

And your words about the significance of art for you and your family are most special.

lime said...

i'm dabbing my eyes. i have a metal wall sculpture i bought from a local gallery. it is very meaningful to me because of who it reminds me of and becuase it reminds me to never stop growing...sort of in a heart's destiny sort of way. that growth feels so very stunted these days though and your post has touched me so deeply. thank you. i needed that very much.

San said...

Lime, your words here have touched ME deeply. I am surprised that your growth is feeling stunted, your writing is always so lifeful. I have, however, felt that way myself, and it's a terrible lonely feeling.

SandyCarlson said...

That's a great story, San. It's wonderful this work has stayed a part of your life since you first saw it.

San said...

Thanks, Sandy. It seems our appreciation of Blue Wolves continues to grow.

WILSONART said...

Wonderful story!
(as always)
Blue Wolves looks so fab on that yellow wall.
Yellow's always been one of my 'happy' colors, a real sunshiney feel good color.

Obviously, I adore Heart's Destiny. The impasto, plastered areas,,,super shapes & color....it feels great,,,especially at this size.
Will it go into your Gallery?
It's been several years since I was in Sante Fe,,and I didn't see an awful lot of abstract work. I've heard that it's becoming more and more popular in recent years.
Is your Gallery largely abstract?

Jo Beaufoix said...

San, I love your painting, and your family is beautiful. I also love the colours in 'Blue Wolves'. It's stunning. :D

San said...

Babs, your kind words about the painting mean so much to me. Thank you!!!

Yes, I've lugged "Heart's Destiny" to the gallery, although right now we're emphasizing another painter's work. Mine is kind of background music. :-)

It does seem that the popularity of abstract imagery is growing. I wouldn't say that our gallery is "largely" abstract. We do enjoy abstract work and we've always shown it, along with other styles, and yes, there is getting to be a lot more contemporary art, including abstract, in Santa Fe.

San said...

Jo, thank you for complimenting my painting. That's special.

And for complimenting my family and the wolves. Hug.

Daryl E said...

I love this post.

I love your painting ..

I too am not overly fond of yellow but it works, its right.

And I love hearts, they are my 'thing'. I went 'ohh' when you explained how one thing led to another and how it led to Bennie...

Interestingly (probably only to me) we had dinner one night at a small really good Italian place on Union St which happened to be a very short walk from our hotel on the corner of Lombard & Van Ness...
Daryl

San said...

Well, Daryl, it looks like we're kindred hearts in more than one way.

I wonder if you ate at Prego? It's near Webster.

Sparkling Red said...

Thank you for that beautiful piece. It was exactly what I needed today. And ever.

I am, more than usual these days, learning to trust my heart's desires. Your Heart's Destiny painting has more than a visual impact on me. I feel the energy of it, of your intention, reaching out and grabbing me right in my abdomen, and then moving all through my aura. It's powerful. I want to gaze at it for a long time.

San said...

Red, you just wrote some amazing words. My aura is quivering. Thank you for that.

Kim said...

San! I LOVE "Heart's Destiny"! It absolutely screams SW US! The colors and the layers and the composition...well, the whole thing is fantastic!

And what a story about "Blue Wolves"...which is really great, by the way!

You are right about how art can change our lives...change the life of a viewer and the life of the artist. I imagine you put Cindy on a much better path with your purchase.

I love the stories you have to tell about your paintings...and your life. I am not such a great story-teller, but I sure do appreciate people who can.

I also adore how Blue Wolves looks against your yellow wall...great contrast and it really brings out the painting beautifully!

Thanks so much, San!

Kim said...

PS I also meant to say how SF is my favorite American city...I just love the areas you have been talking about ...all of those galleries there draw me in all the time. Of course, Union Square is a favorite on sunny days! My favorite walk is from Union Square, through Chinatown and North Beach...so much fun! Of course the Marina District isn't so shabby, either :)

Thanks San, for the Reminders!

Sandi McBride said...

What a wonderful throat catching post. Isn't it funny how art affects people...I have a picture of a dirt road that has given me inspiration for many stories...just a dusty dirt road leading to a little house...your wolves are wonderful friends, aren't they?
Sandi

Meg Wolff said...

Another wonderful post ... I love this photo of you and Bennie with Flannery in your kitchen with the Wolf painting. Such a great story about following your heart and love your beautiful Heart's Destiny painting. Yellow and red are such energetic colors ... heart colors.

I once had a similar experience with a (red and yellow!) painting at a restaurant in a city I was traveling to at the time.

I enjoyed it the few times I went there and then one day it suddenly disappeared! The Chinese waiter said, "It was sold."

I was SO disappointed thinking if I'd know it was for sale I would have bought it. Now MY painting was gone. The room was dull without it, replaced by mauves and navy.

Miraculously it reappeared a few weeks later. I was giddy with delight when I found MY painting in a different spot near the ladies room. It had been moved!

I immediately went to the art gallery next door and purchased this painting. It is still my very favorite!

San said...

Wow, Kim, thank you for such an enthusiastic comment! Somehow I thought you'd appreciate the contrast of the wolves with their backdrop of the yellow wall. In Pacifica the painting hung against a delicately colored wall of a hue called "Thai silk." We enjoyed that too. I love the way art changes lives and changes the looks of its immediate surroundings too.

San Francisco remains my favorite US city as well. And that walk you've described is just chock-full of life.

San said...

Sandy, I could find inspiration in a dirt road. I actually live on one!

And you are so right about my lobo amigos. They hang in there through all kinds of times, good and bad. And you know, both the kids are now students at UNM, home of the LOBOS.

San said...

Meg, how cool that you had a similar experience, and with a red and yellow painting! As you say, heart-colored.

I wonder why the waiter said it was sold. It would be so interesting if it had sold and the buyers hadn't felt quite right with it, since it was destined to be yours.

Celebration of Life said...

San, this is an amazing and awesome story. Thank you for sharing your love story! Those Karmic Connections can't be argued with! I also love the "Blue Wolf" painting....I often dream about wolves; they are my guardians.
Jo

david mcmahon said...

What a great story. Thanks to your blog, this tale has eben shared not just with family and face-to-face friends, but your (many) friends around the world who read this warm-hearted blog.

Thank you too for the lovely comment on my `Night On The Tiles' post. I was hoping you'd validate my view and my interpretation.

Say G'day to Bennie (and the grey coyotes) for me!!

San said...

Jo, wolves are good guardians to have!

Karma--it's what's for dinner.

;-D

San said...

Thanks, David, for your good-spirited comment. What I'd expect from the maker of "Night on the Tiles," a microcosm of life.

Now, as you requested:

"G'day, Bennie."
"G'day, blue coyotes."

Why do I feel like I'm one of the Waltons?

murat11 said...

First of all, that ain't yellow, it's apricot (or tangerine; take your pick: not that there's anything wrong with yellow: third chakra, dontcha know). When I moved back from Moscow, Idaho thirteen years ago, I could not get enough of that color: I wanted to be daily drenched in it.

What a great story of interwoven threads - peoples, paints, DAWGS. My Neapolitan Mastiff Lucia from years ago was "grey," but the color was called "blue" by the breeders. Seems a day for recollectin' the great blues.

Heart's Destiny is lush, with apparitional fluorites (the purples), hearts' blood (and likely blood of the moon, too), and that - what to call it? - gorgeous backdrop of tangerine moonstone.

Hang this one from one of the bridges: it's too big for the galleries. (Oops: forgot we're not in San Francisco anymore.)

Peace.

andrea said...

OK, San, I am totally blown away by how well you write. Have you ever thought of doing an illustrated memoir? This is a fabulous post (and I'm not usually given to effusiveness) and I see why you fell for the painting! (Love yours, too.) I am totally grinning after this post. After a string of frustrations all day it was EXACTLY what I needed to read -- and a reminder that people do lead full, meaningful lives for their WHOLE LIVES, something I still struggle with.

Carol said...

San,

I enjoyed learning how you and Bennie met, how the love of that painting and your persistence in finding out its fate brought you, the painting and Bennie all together.

Your "Heart's Destiny" work has a lot of depth. It pulls me into it. And I willingly allow it...

Enjoyed the adventure of reading your post - as always!

Rhea said...

Heart's Destiny is amazing and uplifting...the story behind the "grey cayotes" is wonderful and meaningful.

This post was so touching, and I love the coloring of your dining room!

Kim said...

LOL San! You have been reading too hard over at my blog! The Thai Silk sounds lovely, too! I just like to see people enjoying their environments.

I think it is moving so much...people like to sell houses with white walls, too....although I have noticed that has been changing over the last 5 or 6 years! Thank Goodness!

CHEWY said...

San,
"Heart's Desire" is warm and welcoming. At that size I would be tempted to step up and hug it!

Bennie! I smiled and burst out a giggle of delight at how you two met.

Whether it's "Blue Wolves" or "Gray Dogs" you snagged yourself an awesome painting. Woof-woof!

lime said...

well, san i thank you for the kind and empathetic words. my blog is the one place where i don't feel stunted. it's very much an outlet for me, though without wanting to sound ungrateful for the opportunity it affords my heart yearns for more.

Lee said...

San, that was a wonderful story. Can't wait to see that Blue Wolves photo. It's interesting how our passions bring the important people into our lives isn't it? It was ballroom dancing that brought Steve & I together. Should be interesting to see what brings Flan & Oakley theirs. Mine too. :)

Hugs!

Velvet Ginger (Rubye Jean) said...

I think the blue wolves are beautiful...outstanding.
I love it when you post pics of your family! Great memories huh?

whimsical brainpan said...

San what a beautiful story. And as always I loved your artwork, "Heart's Destiny" really speaks to me. I admire your use of color.

Someday I will have money, will come visit, and buy something you've painted.

Classics and Country said...

I love you tablesetting. Looks so welcoming.

Julie said...

Outstanding post. Literally life meets art!

Bruno LoGreco said...

Great abstract :)

Sandi McBride said...

CONGRATS dear San...it was simply a great post...
hugs

Blog Princess G said...

You are a fine writer and a wonderful painter. I love Santa Fe - I only visited once in 2000 but I've never got over it and have to visit again very soon.

Thank you for posting this lovely and inspiring story.

lynn said...

How uplifting your story is. I too paint and write. Your beautiful painting has such vibrant impact. Gorgeous.

San said...

Paschal, you're right about what started out as yellow. Yellow does glow from underneath, but I applied various layerings atop that so that the effect is more what I was thinking of as "butterscotch." But I much prefer your "tangerine moonstone." Tangerine moonstone it is!

And "apparitional fluorites." Most definitely apparitional fluorites. You can be my publicist anyday! As long as you don't go hanging my paintings over the Rio Grande Gorge.

San said...

Andrea, I hear you. Some days are fuller, more meaningful than others, aren't they?

An illustrated memoir? I like the idea! Sounds full. Sounds meaningful. Thank you for the encouragement.

San said...

Carol, I always appreciate your kind words.

I am thrilled that the painting pulled you in and that you called reading the post an "adventure."

Peace.

San said...

Oh Rhea, thank you! Wish you were sitting at the table right now, drinking a cup of coffee.

San said...

Kim, I've noticed more colored walls too, especially around here. And I celebrate the trend. Life's short--bring some color into it!

San said...

Chewy, you are welcome to hug any of my paintings any time. And I will reciprocate! Yours are highly huggable, my dear.

I am hearing you giggle with delight and I like the sound...

HOWWWL!

San said...

Lime, I have had that feeling and it's hard. Really hard. I have faith that you will find that "something." Or it will find you! Be ready for it...

:-D

San said...

Lee, the passions, they do have a way of magnetizing the people. You are so right, babe!

Keep that magnet primed...

HUG.

San said...

Rubye Jean, the memories ARE great--I always love seeing your family pictures too.

San said...

Whim, feel free to visit any time, money or not. You are always welcome.

San said...

Thanks, C & C. As you can see, we're pretty informal. ;-)

San said...

Julie--art and life--the connection can be sweet.

Thanks!

San said...

Bruno, I'm so glad you like it.

Thank you!

San said...

Sandi, hugs to you, girlfriend! And a kiss too!

San said...

Princess G, I'm honored by your visit and by your kind words.

Please visit again. My blog and Santa Fe!

San said...

Wow, Lynn, thanks much. I look forward to visiting you over at your place.

Suldog said...

Marvelous story. Isn't it amazing how our lives turn on a thing or event that doesn't seem earth-shattering at the time? Thanks for sharing!

sukipoet said...

Hi San. Love your painting which also has touches of purple. It is bright and cheerful.

I just LOVE your story about how a painting changed your life. How you found your husband through following your heart and intuition.

I lived in San Francisco in 1967. Yep, then. I love that place but oddly havent been back in years. I lived on Nob Hill in a $75/month apartment. But as I've said before I think, I've also visited for as long as a month and a half, Santa Fe, Taos and Vallacitos. I love Santa Fe. Was struck by the prevalence of Native American-like images in the paintings. Lots of adobe houses and so forth. So good to hear more abstract art is coming in. I loved Taos too and felt it was wilder somehow than Santa Fe. Oh, by chance I met a painter on one of my Santa Fe trips. I bet you know him, he does abstracts too. Stan Berning. He'd never remember me but I always remembered him. When I discovered his paintings were used in a movie I bought the movie just to have the images. Forget the movie name right now.

Anyway, just an added note I love the wolf painting. Your kids are darlings. Your life sounds, well, wonderful. Blessings, Suki

San said...

Suldog, you are so right. The significant events have a way of creeping up quietly sometimes.

Thank you for visiting. I hope you'll come again!

San said...

Hi Suki. An apartment on Nob Hill for $75! And probably at the time, that was considered a little pricey, a splurge for a view.

Small world. Yes, I know Stan. He used to run his own gallery, and believe it or not, our first gallery location in Santa Fe was next door to his! "Off the Map" is the name of the movie and it is just wonderful. I love the way the opening credits roll with his gorgeous painting as a backdrop.

murat11 said...

I love that gorge. Especially coming up out of Pilar into the high desert.

How about you just paint one of the canyon walls?

WBTT said...

"Blue Wolves" is a meaningful piece. San, you're not only a fine writer, great mother, terrific lover, skillful artist, but also an intuitive. How did know that "Blue Wolves" would hang in our home where the wolves relatives: coyotes, would traipse through our yard on a regular basis? And we so enjoy watching them roaming in packs.

Many fine paintings are viewed as if they are objects to be "analysed" or "appreciated," like an antique; and that's especially true of representational art. And they will often elicit a positive emotion from the viewer. However, the ambiguous, unsettling, and mysterious nature inherent in abstraced imagery has a power and suggestiveness that so few art pieces possess. I'm not opposed to the "pretty picture," the "tranquil scene." But truthfullly, for a work of art to have resonance today--for my life--it must emit some tension and ambiguity--it must do for my vision what the music of contemporary composer John Adams does for my hearing. "Heart's Destiny" is gripping in a way that only a completely realized work of contemporary fine art can be.

You are "is tops."

San said...

Sure thing, Paschal. And when the Taos County sheriff is about to put the cuffs on my wrists, I'll say, "My publicist made me do it."

It is a magnificent sight.

jsd said...

it wasn't art of the paintbrush kind that changed my life, but art of the bound ink that did. i met my now wife at a lesbian book club she and i friend had started...her and her friend got overrun with their last year of college, and so i took the book club over. i wouldn't see her almost a year. one day after book club was over for the evening i went to my car, and heard my name. so i turned around and there she was with a friend (she had parked next to me). we said our hellos, caught up a bit, and i asked her to come to book club. she did, and the rest as they say is making ourstory.

San said...

WBTT, I never would have imagined back then that we would live in a home with a yard that's a coyote sanctuary! We are on one amazing journey together, and I am so fortunate to be traveling in the same pack as you, King.

"Ambiguous, unsettling, and mysterious"--what a way you have of talking about abstracted imagery. And I believe your words describe life itself. We are in this mystery together, love, and when I think about that, my heart settles into a deep peace.

San said...

JS, your stories were bound together in one continuing narrative and then the kids came in as characters too. How beautiful!

I wonder what invisible string tugged her car into that spot that night. The timing must have been perfect.

BritGal' Sarah said...

What a fabulous painting and a wonderful story to go with it :-)

P M Prescott said...

I really like both paintings, and the wonderful pictures of your family.
The great thing about abstract art is it allows the viewer to put in his own imagination. To me at the top of the painting the red in the yellow (or tangerine) looks like a hand gun and farther down objects moving away in fear. This may not be at all what you or anyone else sees (I've never seen the man on the moon, no matter how many years I've tried)

A.Bananna said...

I love it! LOVE IT! LOVE IT! the post and the painting!

two thumbs up! :)

San said...

Sarah, I'm pleased to meet you. Thanks!

San said...

Pat, thank you much! I love sharing pictures of my family. And I am seriously considering changing the name of the painting to "HANDS UP!"

The man in the moon--he's the one holding the Uzi.
Sorry. Couldn't resist. ;-D

San said...

Anna--WOO HOO!!! Thank you, babe.

CrazyCath said...

What a beautiful love story!

I love a good story - and that this happened to you makes it better in the reading. You look such a happy little family and I feel you still are. Always will be.

Thanks for sharing, and visiting me. Congratulations on POTD at david's.

murat11 said...

I know WBTT has got a deadly case of conflict of interest, but the good man is dead on in his throwdown on the resonance of abstracted art: it was wonderful to have him put such eloquence to the matter of what draws us so deeply into the mystery (and wide-openness) of nonrepresentational art.

This lesson was never made more clearly than the time of my visit to the Picasso museum in Barcelona, where I saw paintings by 14 year old Pablito that were every bit on par with the "Masters." Off the charts mathematical genius dude sez: "Okay, done that, the drop dead gorgeous painting of a First Communion. What am I supposed to do now?" How about, hook up with friend Bracques and kick some serious transformative ass?

"Si, comono."

Ms. Creek said...

beautiful story! when you were first describing the painting, i thought "wolves". but in the pic, the face looks like a fox, not the tail of course....whatever....the life-changing legacy is great!

San said...

Thank you, Cath. Like you, I love to tell those stories!

You are always the well-wisher and I appreciate that so much. x

San said...

Paschal, I've seen an image of the painting you speak of and I envy your having seen it "in person." The technical virtuosity is staggering, and you're right---Picasso moved his energy to an exponentially higher level after that. And again. And again...There are many reasons he's widely regarded as the most significant artist of the twentieth century.

San said...

Ellie, a friend of mine here in Santa Fe called them foxes too. I see it in that elongated head.

Hope your week is flowing like a good story...

Daphne said...

What a beautifully written story. I felt it.

It is interesting too, that your painting has some interior spaces maybe like a cave as well...

jameil1922 said...

i SO need a painting like that and can't wait to find it. i love jackson pollock and georgia o'keefe's flowers (i'm not too big into abstracts most of the time but also not too big into realism or modern art-- so picky, i know! but you know how personal art is). i actually found a piece that i love by my friend's roommate's brother. she wouldn't give it up but at least i know where to find the artist. he's an art prof. i should buy something of his for my birthday. i'd prefer if it wasn't engagingly ugly as hilarious as the term is!

San said...

Daphne, thank you for noticing those cave-like spaces in my painting. I am rather pleased with them.

San said...

Well, Jameil, hunting down that painting is well worth the effort. It's an investment in your life.

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

I like yor payntins! I also like the party hats in the foto!

:@}

San said...

Thanks, Bob. You are kind of a party animal at that.

Nose hugs.

John-Michael said...

Prior to reading a word, I sat back and lost my Self in "Heart's Destiny." I am, yet, quieted and moved by it. Lovely! Then, of course, I took in what is, as always, a beautifully presented offering of your amazing skills. You do, indeed, captivate!

I will never be able to express appropriately or adequately, the importance of this place in my Heart with Your presence in residence, is to Me. But please accept my feeble "I love You."

Maggie May said...

San...... That is a really lovely story with a happy ending! The best type of story!
I love your grey wolves and the painting you did. And.... your lovely family!

suchsimplepleasures said...

i love that painting!! love it! i can see why you were drawn to it! it's cool!
adorable kids, too!!
i'm glad you stopped by my blog!!

Merlin's Wizard said...

That was a fantastic blog!! I love the fact that a painting can change your life so much and hope that all you apintngs bring you such joy. Your new painting is sure to do that for the lucky purchaser. Take care and happy painting. Merlins Wizard x

indicaspecies said...

Heart's Destiny with those heart-warming colors is fabulous - power and joy indeed.

What a wonderful post on the love story of San of San Francisco. You narrate it to perfection! And those photos of lovely people!! This has brightened up my glowing "orange" day in a beautiful way.

San, congratulations on being the winner on Authorblog's Post of the Day. Truly well deserved.:)

Meg Wolff said...

San, I hadn't thought of it that way .. maybe it WAS destined to be mine. After reading your post it gave me much more appreciation for the art work I have, especially that piece. It's great because it's painted in these regal sort of formal colors (and also seriously framed) but the subject is a folding chair and part of a tree ... very informalish!

The Wisdom of Wislon said...

Great post. Nice to hear how people have come from one thing and onto another. Love the vibrant colours of the painiting.

Jennifer H said...

Your painting is beautiful.

I love this story, and am so glad you included this photos. Wonderful, all of it.

I have yet to buy my first significant piece of art. I hope I choose as well as you did.

San said...

John-Michael, as always, you speak from a deep place in your heart.

Thanks much, and much love to you, my friend.

San said...

Maggie May, I'm glad you enjoyed the story. You are quite the storyteller yourself.

San said...

SSP, I love your enthusiasm. See you around...

San said...

Well, Merlin's Wizard, thank you for the complimenting and the well-wishing. I'm off to see the Wizard!

San said...

Celine, whatever it takes to brighten that orange glow...whatever it takes. Thank you for reading (and looking) closely. You are a special friend.

San said...

Meg, don't get me started on how much I love chair paintings. We have several--in various styles--and I've been known to rescue chairs from garbage heaps. Yes, one was a folding chair.

San said...

Hi, Wisdom. It's great to see you here again. And I'm glad you like the vibrant colors. Thanks!

San said...

Oh, Jennifer, I have a feeling you will choose quite wisely. You are a woman of discerning taste.

;-)

Peter said...

Hi! I love, love stories, especially when they end well, as yours did. Puts mine to shame, as I meet my wife changing the dirty sheets on a hospital bed. Yes, someone was in it. But all's well that ends well I say.

Take Care,
Peter

HMBT said...

It's a small world full of extra large people like yourself and you family. I love those blue wolves...and your painting makes me feel warm and friendly to my own battered soul. Great post...and you so rock as a person...as you can see by the 100's of people who read your blog. Wow, you are amazing.

Momma said...

This was a breathtaking post! I love "Blue Wolves" and I love "Heart's Destiny." There is something special - scary and thrilling at the same time - about trusting your heart and taking a leap, even if that is just driving a painting home strapped to a Datsun. I'm so happy for the way your life turned out. You're an inspiration to me...Peace - D

Meg Wolff said...

San,
So funny you mentioned, because on looking at your photo again today (the one of Bennie, Flannery and you on Flannery's first birthday ... love this photo!)I took notice of the chairs that you were sitting in and ... your chairs with a view. Ok, I'm going to send you a photo of my chair painting! I have a great queen's chair in my room that I got at a place called "Cherished Possessions". What is it about certain chairs that you like?

San said...

Peter, I am intrigued. I want to know who was in the hospital bed! I hope at some time you will share your own story...

San said...

Heather, I hardly envision your soul as "battered," more as glowing white-hot with passion and purpose. But your generous words mean SO MUCH to me. Thank you!

San said...

Doris, you are an inspiration to me!

I love what you have to say about taking that leap "even if it's just driving a painting home strapped to a Datsun." My deepest fear was that the wolves would leap from the roof when the Datsun rolled backwards at the top of one of those infamous hills.

San said...

Meg, I would love to see your chair painting and your Queen's Chair. Chairs--good question as to the fascination behind them. Maybe it's because they offer an opportunity to pause and reflect, and a unique chair can be seen as an extension of the personality who sits there.

Speaking of unique persons, you are very much in my thoughts these days...

VP said...

San, that's a great story and painting!

Thanks for stopping by last week :)

San said...

Thanks, VP! Good to see you again.

self taught artist said...

san, i've been meaning to comment on this post but was preocupied.
so here it is:
inspiring post to say the least.
for some reason i felt sad reading this...maybe i felt like i would never have a journey in the art world in comparrison...who knows. you were young, you had the whole things ahead of you and art made such a difference! i still dont know/think/understand how my art does so this post fascinated me.
thanks for sharing a piece of the past and a piece of your dwelling, looks warm and full of good people.
OMG you have that god awful ugly award on your sidebar?!!!!

smith kaich jones said...

Not only can you paint, you can tell a terrific story. I smiled all the way through. Serendipity, serendipity. I loved both your painting & Cindy's painting (although I guess that's your painting, too, NOW, huh?) Anyway, YOU know what I mean. And when you mentioned the word coyotes, I immediately thought of "The Milagro Beanfield War" & the Coyote Angel - one of my all time favorite fictional characters. (I am truly rambling - I am tired. And off to home I go.)

Take care.

Debi

The Moody Minstrel said...

Hey, Coyote has a mixed reputation (to say the least) in Native American spirituality, but Wolf?

Need I say more? ;-)

Tina said...

What a wonderful story! I'm new here by way of Contemplating The Moon and glad to be here.

A Brush with Color said...

Wonderful story! I like that blue painting, and I liked yours, too! It must've been kismet.

Cris in Oregon said...

I love this story. It's amazing how one fabulous work of Art changed your life. What you would have missed out on by not following your gut instint. When you can't get something out of your mind that's when you know you love it.
Thanks for visiting my blog. I will be back here for sure.

San said...

Correction, Paula, the most intriguing award that does double duty as a hood ornament (thanks, Paschal) is now proudly ensconced on my sidebar for all of the blogosphere to admire. Listen...you can hear the oohing and the aahing. And when I drive around town with that baby on the hood, well, the heads turn and the eyes follow. Today a boy scout even saluted!

San said...

Serendipity again, Debi. I smiled all the way through your comment. Thanks!

San said...

Moody, that's a great point. The old trickster coyote deceives, but the wolf strengthens us to follow our heart and make strong connections. Perfecto, man.

San said...

I'm glad you're here too, Tina. Come again...

San said...

Kismet is right, A Brush with Color. Great moniker you have there!

San said...

Cris, you're right. When it lodges in the mind, it's loved. Thank you!

Into the Blystic said...

lovely story! and stunning painting!

DreamDoc said...

San,

That's a beautiful story... and I love your painting Destiny. Looking forward to following your blog.

Laura

Patty said...

San, another beautiful painting and heart grabbing story. Love the photo of you,Bennie and Flannery. Your love story is just as I would have imagined it to be. I'm still searching for my 'Heart's Destiny'.... It's a lonely place to be. Thanks for sharing.

Jeanne said...

What an incredible post. It really is amazing how one small little act can reverberate through your life. Love the pictures too!

Writer Reading said...

Lovely story and picture of your family. The grey is such a beautiful blue-grey. Your painting and story makes me want to paint again. I haven't for years. Maybe this summer.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful story...I believe as you that art changes people and lives...mine included. Your heart piece is vibrant and beautiful and a delight seeing your home,art and family. I will be putting your blog on my favorites and since I am new at blogging I would love to invite you to visit mine. mary ann

CrazyCath said...

Hi San - just checking in. Hope you're ok.

San said...

Thank you for visiting, Into the Blystic! I'll have to check out your blog.

San said...

Laura, I appreciate the visit and your kind words. And I'm glad you plan to return...

San said...

Oh, Patty, you are so deserving of that destiny. Here's hoping it's just around the corner...

San said...

Jeanne, "reverberate" is the perfect word to use here. Thank you!

San said...

Writer Reading, what a stunning profile image! A photo that is quite painterly.

San said...

Mary Ann, thank you for including my blog in your favorites and for inviting me to check out your blog. I look forward to it!

San said...

Hey, Cath. I appreciate the checking in. I'm fine, just been busy at work and in the studio. Coming up for air a bit...nice to see you.

Celebration of Life said...

Hi San! I am back from Laramie and posted about it. I have a lot to catch up with you on so wanna have coffee in the morning?
Jo

Michele Benjamin RN, MSN said...

You painting, "Heart's Destiny" is gorgeous.
so is the Blue Wolves.
I loved the picture of your family!!
In fact, I think I to link your blog to mine.
Have an awesome day!!
Namaste,
Michele

San said...

Good morning, Jo! I already brewed the coffee...

San said...

Thank you, Michlele. I want to add you to my blogroll too.

Have a beautiful day!

Angel... said...

San, I love your painting...its so cool..You are amazing sorry for late visit as I wasn't feel so good.

San, Great review and you are an awsome painter . You know what your talent just blow me away!!!

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

That’s a wonderful story, San! It reminds me of the first piece of art I purchased so many years ago and all of the wonder that that led to.

Lynn said...

What a great story! We were practically neighbors when you worked and lived in SF. (about 60 miles apart)...fun to read of places so familiar to me...and love the grey wolves and how they shaped your life and loves.
congratulations on selling your most recent painting too. Great work. Your mother has a right to be proud!

Son of Incogneato said...

Great story. I met my partner in a similarly strange manner. Isn't life grand?

Cheers!
Son of Incogneato

San said...

Thanks, Son, for visiting. Yes, life is mucho grande.

La Traductora said...

I loved your post on the "blue wolves". Art is the handwriting of the soul. I'm so happy for you and your family.

Jak said...

Hi San. I just got around to reading your wonderful post. I remember helping you strap that painting on the top of your car. It is amazing that Cindy's "Blue Wolves" still carries so much meaning in your life. I hope that you were able to track down Cindy to share your story with her.

Jak said...

Hi San. I just got around to reading your wonderful post. I remember helping you strap that painting on the top of your car. It is amazing that Cindy's "Blue Wolves" still carries so much meaning in your life. I hope that you were able to track down Cindy to share your story with her.