for everything ....
There are no two ways of looking at it. I had my big opportunity last week and I blew it.
After my recent disparaging comments about garage sales, my sister happened to ask me to take her to a huge second hand book sale last Friday. I felt like showing her my blog post but given she is visiting from another State, I couldn't really refuse.
She loves reading, was more than likely born with War & Peace in her hands and calculates that she has read at least 2,000 books.
Personally, I wanted to tell her that I think anything in excess, no matter if it broadens the mind or the behind, is a bad thing. I like books, don't get me wrong, but I'm a strictly no more than one in each hand at any one time kind of girl.
Besides, as I told you in another post, my parents sent me to speed readings classes at 11 (who knows why?) and ever since then I have been a little chaotic in my reading style - I read the ending first. Yes, yes, shake your head because it is indeed a cringe worthy thing.
Anyway, given she is an extremely lovely sister (one of three) who I share lots of deep and meaningful conversations with, I gladly went with her to the book sale(and it had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that she promised to make me her ‘out of this world’ champagne and fruit cocktails).
Except, this was not just a book sale. Or even a huge book sale. This was a MEGA book sale.
When we walked through the doors I could tell by the look on her face that she thought she had died and gone to book heaven.
I sat and browsed the people while she browsed the books, one by one by one.........
Out of the corner of my eye I saw this elderly man with a long grey pony tail, cap, a leather vest, colourful tie, bright bag over his shoulder and blue jeans. Mmmm, I thought, he looks familiar. I just could not work out where I had seen him before.
So I watched him for a while.
Then, I got up and followed him around (yes, I was technically stalking but don't think badly of me). I tried not to be too obvious about it and kept a respectful distance.
Then it finally hit me. This man was just no random book lover. This was Richard Larter. My favourite Aussie artist of all time. How completely unexpected.
Now I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. I may have done a little dance of joy.
I have seen famous faces before but somehow this random sighting of my favourite artist at a second hand book sale was way more exciting. I had just recently seen his exhibition at the National Gallery and I had bought one of his art books (I cannot afford his paintings). And now here he was buying someone else’s book. Someone else’s second hand book.
I ran to find my sister to tell her. She didn't have a clue who I was talking about. She just shrugged and kept browsing.
I then knew I had to get a photo. For my blog if nothing else.
I felt like a member of the paparazzi and wondered if I should approach him or call out to him in the same way they do to the stars, Hey Richard, what designer are you wearing? Richard, who is the woman with you? Richard, have you had plastic surgery? Richard, who does your ponytail?
Oh no, I didn't have it in me to be that forward. I took the coward's way out.
I just followed him, pointed the camera, clicked, then ran and hoped he wouldn't notice the flash going off.
And what did I end up with? This priceless piece of artwork. A blur to end all blurs.
Well this is art ok, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you happen to be one of those people who cannot see the artist in this picture then you clearly need to have your eyes tested.
I know who it is even if the rest of the world doesn't. The sad thing is the poor man had his hand up to his face as well. I later read on the Internet that he shuns any kind of media attention (and that includes no doubt some crazed woman stalking him with a camera at a second hand book sale). I mean he is 79 years old after all, has been painting all his life and he only became famous in the last 20 years.
My career as a paparazzi started and ended that day. Well, for obvious reasons.
But my love for his work burns bright. Next time Richard, next time!
Oh and have I told you that I now love second hand sales of any kind and description?
Simply because you just never know who you might get to stalk.
What about you, have you ever seen anyone you idolised and how did you handle it?
Top Image - varied artwork by Richard Larter.