Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Art collecting in Wonder Valley

I missed posting on the week of December 6. Time got away from me. That Saturday was the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center First Saturday Community Pancake Breakfast. I'm the hostess and my husband Ken is the egg man. We're all volunteers. We served 56 breakfasts and carved out a little time to hobnob with our neighbors and other desert rats. I bought a radiator heater in the thrift shop to take the chill off the cabin and it has worked nicely, a good investment of $5.00.

Later we drove to the Glass Outhouse in Wonder Valley for the Morongo Valley High School Student Art Show. The Valley definitely has its own flavor, heavy on books and arts. Yucca Valley - Joshua Tree - Twentynine Palms - Wonder Valley are home to four or five used book stores, and many, many art galleries, a few of which are accessible to new artists. There was food at the reception and live music and a respectable crowd looking to buy.

As I wandered through the various rooms of the gallery two paintings caught my eye. One, which I named in my head "How did I get here?", was of a red suburban house styled like a barn with a car pulling into the garage. It reminded me of the song by the Talking Heads. It was vibrant and garish as are all suburban dreams, especially those trying to reference our agrarian past. I considered buying it for the simple reason that it was $17.00 and where would I ever find another piece of art for $17.00? I admire any artist that uses charm pricing.

In another room I found myself standing in front of a black and white study, a little bit cubist, a little bit surreal, but with a definite 50s-in-America feel. Ken was a room behind me and I thought of pointing it out to him, but moved on. Later, when I looked back, he was transfixed, standing in front of the same painting. We bought it for $10.00.

Ken pointed out another paining he liked, a road that should have disappeared into the distance, but defied perspective while everything else obeyed. It evoked for me the American habit of never fading into the distance but trodding along with five- and ten-year plans, plastic surgery to preserve youth, comebacks and second acts and the perverted promise of eternal youth and life. We bought it for $15.00.

I showed him "How did I get here?" We returned the next day with a $20 and told the curator to let the artist keep the change.

It did not surprise us that these three pieces were all painted by the same talented artist, Christina Galdoard. I hope that she continues to paint with the same exuberance long into her career and we're proud to own these three pieces.