used...the more beautiful
Maybe that is true of all of our talents.
Listen to this...
When we first moved to Arizona in 2004...
I attended an art exhibit at the
West Valley Art Museum in Surprise.
It was a small exhibit...lots of room to
mingle and mix.
The featured artist was the legendary Bob Brown
nicked named by Norman Rockwell
as the "Leonardo of Leather."
He made saddles and chaps and gun belts and
a whole host of
other gorgeous art pieces in leather.
Many famous movie stars commissioned his work.
Bob chatted openly with me that day...
what a delight he was.
A wide smile pierced his weathered tanned face...
his eyes were soft and kind
and knowingly they peeked into my artistic heart.
His enormous hands were gnarled
yet nimble and agile...almost graceful.
His words were humble.
He spoke like a common man...not as the "rock star"
that he truly was.
He spoke of the west as it once was...
telling stories about real cowboys
weaving in sweet anecdotes
sparkling with the fantasy of the legends and lore
of old Hollywood.
It was such a pleasurable and memorable event.
He seemed invincible.
That very day
I purchased a museum poster of Bob's work
which he graciously signed
dedicated to both Scott and I.
It became the first piece of western art
in our new home.
That print still hangs on the wall in our study...
right above my computer desk.
I look at it every day while
I await the computer to boot up.
My mind has become magically infused by his
gorgeous patterns and designs.
Today, 6 years after meeting Bob
after painting these simplistic ATC pieces
the routine process of posting them
on my blog.
Then to my utter surprise
while looking for a link to Bob's work I discovered
that the 95 year old "Leonardo of Leather"
passed away in his sleep
a mere year, to the month, after I had spoken to him...
and he held my hands in his.
That fact sobered me like a slap in the face.
He was an American masterpiece...
a national treasure
I thought it fitting to pay him a tribute here
on my post...
from both the artistic Muse side of me
from the emotional spiritual side
deep in my heart.
With soulful admiration I salute Bob Brown...
for he was a man who lived his life
what he loved to do.
We should all do that...and become better
because we used our talents.
A most interesting bio of Bob Brown
a listing of some of his more famous works
can be found here.
It is well worth every second of reading.