Visual artists are surrounded with art – mostly their own – and I am always curious what creations from other artists catch their eye and become part of their collection. Discerning eyes.

This post is about a particular piece in my collection.

When I was 10 years old I was asked what I wanted for my birthday. My birthday is in late August and growing up we always went to Cape Cod for the two weeks leading up to Labor Day and stayed on the estate of my Dad’s childhood friend. I liked to ride my bike and visit eclectic little antique stores along Route 6A. I had seen a print that I favored.

“An etching I saw in a store down the road”, I replied.

“Really? THAT’S what you want?”

“Oh, yes!”

My parents were art collectors and were delighted with this choice. I think it was bought for $10.

That etching turned out to be made by a very famous etcher, Stephen Parrish (1846—1938) better known to my generation as the father of Maxfield Parrish (1870—1966).

The etching shows a country scene of a woman on a dirt road with a gaggle of geese and a house outlined in the distance with smoke rising out of the chimney. It brings me delight and comfort. I have always had it with me, hanging in my art studio wherever that was. It gives me inspiration and has a peaceful presence. It graces my creative process.

I placed it in an antique wooden frame under glass. Fun Fact: this etching made it through a studio fire 10 years ago – the glass had cracked from the heat but the paper was fine. The art restoration company placed the print in the mat board with the proportions that I had used previously and secured it in a black frame – love that!)

Great art can inspire you for a lifetime.