We traveled from Chicago south and along the way stopped in many small towns, including Clarksville, Mo. When I stopped to ask directions, and for a lunch suggestion, I happened upon a wonderful store, The Bent Tree Gallery. The young woman minding the place makes lovely leather bags and her mother makes woven baskets while her father does this amazing woodworking. One of the things I learned is that art is to be found everywhere across this huge country, no matter how small the community, and some of it is very good!
From these luscious leather pieces, she handcrafts very stylish leather bags, worthy of any that you might see in NYC. I guess I am just drawn to stacks of color, no matter what it is.
We also stopped in Hannibal Missouri to see Mark Twain's hometown and happened across a Norman Rockwell exhibit. I was impressed with the side by side painting and very detailed studies that he did for each painting. On the left is the study, and on the right is the finished painting.
The primary reason for the trip was for me to be able to take a private painting session with the very talented Stan Fellows who lives in Iowa City , Iowa. I had hoped for some time to be able to take a workshop with him but until now it had not been possible. I first saw his work as an illustration to a short story in SW Airline's magazine, and since then I have seen his illustrations in the Nature Conservancy magazine and Martha Stewart Living.
This was the painting that he demonstrated for me, and I was thrilled to be able to take it home with me! If I lived closer, I would happily study with him more often as I learned so much from our short session.
Here is his palette, with some colors, particularly the lavender and dusty blues that I would like to add to my own palette. Watch for more news of Stan in the future. I think he has some big ideas that are very exciting!