November 11, 2012,
Being an artist can lead to some unexpected experiences. Last night was an example. Husband and I attended the Douglas County AIDS auction to which I had contributed a painting that made it into the live auction. Another painting of mine, which had been in the auction several years ago, had been given to the silent auction.
I give a painting to this auction every year and the past couple of years my paintings hadn’t done very well. But this year that changed and I attribute that in part to the new auctioneer, an in your face woman connected to the police department. She started the bids high and assertively urged audience members to bid. When there was a second bid she would go right to the table of the person making the first bid along with a someone holding the painting and persuade that person to top that second bid. If the person did so, she rushed to the table of the other bidder and made that person feel it would be a real loss if they didn’t bid higher.
I liked the painting, Purple Spring, which I gave. It protrayed the swatches of lavender that mark eastern Kansas fields in the spring from a weed called henbite that also shows up in my yard. But I have had the painting for a while and it has been in various shows without selling. So I gave it to the auction and this auctioneer persuaded a couple people that they really wanted it and the bidding rose to $325. Unbelieveable.
Mine was one of the earlier paintings to be auctioned and the evening had more surprises in store. This year for the first time, in addition to Maceli’s delicious food and drink, there was entertainment. It was something I had never seen before in person, three singers in fancy dress who were men dressed as women. They were called The Girlies, imported from Kansas City, and actually they were quite entertaining. The audience must have thought so too as some began thrusting dollar bills into their cleavage. Art can lead to some interesting experiences.