Married to an Artist

Corner of our living room, stacked with paintings.

 

 

I’d known Bob for about 35 years when he moved to Maine to be with me. We were married a few months later. During those 35 years he’d been a speechwriter, film producer, public relations/media relations expert and consultant to an assortment of companies, advisor to the Saudi Arabian oil industry, New York taxi driver, bartender, Barnes and Noble manager, and, I suspect, a few professions I still don’t know about.

Bob — paint on his clothes, but no paint brush!

 

He loved photography, and did model portfolios in New York City for a while (I always suspected it was partially to meet girls,) and did family “at home informal portraits.”

The car loaded. (Wine for the opening , too!)

 

When he arrived in Maine I hoped he’d find something to do here, in the state that I loved, that would fascinate him, as I’d found writing and antique prints. I shouldn’t have worried. He immediately took control of our kitchen and started turning out gourmet meals (cooking had always been a hobby of his, and as a side effect we each gained about twenty pounds the first year we were married.) He took on the mammoth job of inventorying my antique print business, a long overdue task. And he picked up his camera again, and starting taking microphotographs of rocks and sand and kelp. He began to see the world through his lens, and within a year had his first Maine photography exhibit.

 

And then, one year on his birthday, he decided to learn to paint. My mother had been an artist, and her easel was still in the house, and he turned one of the rooms in our ell into a studio. He studied books on painting, and gallery and museum exhibits, and experimented with textures and surfaces and paints and colors. He painted hours each day — and many nights. He had, to both of our delights, found a new passion.

Two years later he had his first exhibit. Since then he has had exhibits in galleries in Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and is a “regular” at the Stable Gallery in Damariscotta, Maine. DOWN EAST magazine featured him in a story on retired men and women who had reinvented themselves.

Our home, always filled with books (we have floor to ceiling bookcases in every room and some hallways) now had to make space for paintings — many of them hung over the books. (Yes, there was some discussion about that!) We don’t often entertain in our dining room – turned library — because now it is also storage for paintings.

And this week Bob and I (and a very helpful neighbor) hung his first show of 2017  (23 paintings) at the Southport Memorial Library in Southport, Maine. The pictures on this blog tell the story, from choosing the paintings, putting them in large bags, adding tags, and sorting them in our living room, to hanging them at the library.

Last night we enjoyed wine and cheese and the exhibit (which will be open until June 30) was open to the public. And one of his paintings sold! Next opening? May 19 (5 pm-7 pm) at the Stable Gallery. And June 8 Bob and I will both be talking at the Southport Library at 7 pm about being an artist married to a writer.

Maine is a welcoming state for artists and writers … and we love being able to share our visions, in words and pictures, with others.

Hoping if you’re in the neighborhood, you’ll stop in to one of the galleries Bob shows at. He says the textures of his work remind him of the city walls in Beirut, Lebanon, where he grew up, but the colors, the blue and greens and oranges, are all Maine. As his proud wife. I just say they’re breathtaking. And now they’re as much a part of our life as are my books.

What could be better than being a two genre family?

About Lea Wait

I write mysteries - the Mainely Needlepoint, Shadows Antique Print and, coming soon, the Maine Café series. When I was single I was an adoption advocate and adopted my four daughters. Now my mysteries (and historical novels for young people) are about people trying to find love, acceptance, and a place to call home. My website is www.leawait.com
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12 Responses to Married to an Artist

  1. Reine says:

    Beautiful love story, Lea.

    Like

  2. Vida Antolin-Jenkins says:

    How marvelous and what an inspiration!

    Like

  3. MCWriTers says:

    Lovely.

    I, of course, have had the privilege of dining among the paintings, the result of which was that I left well fed and carrying a painting. I believe, according to what Bob says, that now that I have three, I am a collector.

    And I am in awe of the both of you, both your creativity (and being open to that) and your discipline. Many want to write or photograph or paint, you guys just go for it and work hard at your craft.

    Hope the show brings much praise and many sales. And now, Lea, back to work, there are deadlines looming.

    Kate

    Like

  4. Dru says:

    I love that he found his true passion. Congrats on the sell. Love the buttons.

    Like

  5. Lea Wait says:

    Thank you, all. And now — you’re right, Kate. Back to work!

    Like

  6. Wowsah! That is some story. The creativity just flows in your household!

    Like

  7. Andrea Bodo says:

    What a lovely synergy you have and beautifully described. Keep it going !

    Like

  8. Andrea Bodo says:

    What a lovely synergy you have and beautifully described. Keep it flowing !

    Like

  9. Julianne says:

    Bob, thanks for the inspiration. I painted years ago before my marriage and loved the process and the results. I am going to begin again. You’re pieces are breathtaking and should sell quickly. Congratulations to the both of you. The life you live is the life many dream of but never enjoy!

    Like

  10. Bob Thomas says:

    Thanks to you all. I/ we’ve had a lot of help. You know who you are and, I hope, that we are grateful.
    Bob

    Like

  11. What a wonderful marriage you 2 have, Lea! And you’re both artists, each in your own way. Thus you support and inspire each other.
    Live long and Prosper! Sherie

    Like

  12. Beth Clark says:

    I didn’t realize he discovered painting after retirement. That is an inspirations for all us retirees. Beautiful work and a nice story to do with it.

    Like

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