When I first moved to San Francisco, I used to admire the pen and ink drawings of Richard Stine that were published in the SF Chronicle. His art included equal parts of hope and frustration + quirkiness that resonated with me. I remember visiting his booth at an art fair in Sausalito and being truly in awe of his work. After Bill and I met, we continued together to love Stine's creative expression.
About ten years ago, I was planning a trip to the Seattle area to see a bunch of people including a friend who I have known since junior high. Or, as the kids call it today, middle school. I called her before the trip and said, "Uh, I want to go see an artist whose work I love. I asked if I could come to his studio on Bainbridge Island and he said yes." Silence on the phone. My friend has never been that person who talks easily to strangers, but it's easy for me. She couldn't believe what I was proposing and seemed a bit stunned as we boarded the ferry to go see him. Hell, yes, we're doing this.
He had two homes right next to each other. One was his home with his lovely wife, and one was his workspace. Richard left us in his studio to look at piles of artwork, including an unfinished book that told the story of a family member's journey with aging. It was funny, touching, sweet, just what I would expect from his work.
Since that visit, I have had my eye on one of Richard's paintings for our home, and we finally purchased a print of House By The River. Ever since we designed our home, we have been holding a special spot in reserve for this print. And, as another friend said recently, it's so appropriate that a vibrant image of a house is the first thing you see as you now enter our home.
Richard and I have kept in touch over the years and he now lives in New Zealand, one of our favorite places on earth. Perhaps we will have to visit (but not stalk) him there, too. :-)
|One of Stine's drawings from the San Francisco Chronicle that I tucked away years ago.|