Artist Eddie Maier created the print (pictured above) which I've had for a few years. This piece, entitled "The Best Things in Life Are Free," is one of my favorite works in my growing collection of art by local artists (which goes nicely with my other growing collection of signed books by area authors).
I love the Volkswagen van because it reminds me of a couple of good friends who used such a van to travel cross-country. I also love the towering trees that remind me of the beautiful Douglas-firs I enjoyed while living in Eugene, Oregon. What's really cool is that you can see leaves in the handmade paper this art is created on.
When you look at this piece, you feel like you're outside, out West or traveling. Perhaps I'll try my hand at making a frame for this piece out of the many tree branches that fall in my yard, which would be a fitting to the evergreens in this work.
It's been nice running into Eddie and other area artists during the past few years at the many art events that take place in the Morgantown area. As a writer, I've always enjoyed art exhibits. I find a great deal of inspiration by viewing art.
I had the privilege of running into Eddie again in front of the library yesterday evening. The rain was coming down pretty hard on us, but we had the chance to talk a bit about art, printmaking and other things.
After we talked, I began thinking more about how the work of area artists ties into the practice that many of us support, which is buying local on a regular basis from artists, writers, musicians, craft-makers, etc. This is always good practice, because, as Eddie reminded me, you always have the very special memory from sharing the experience of art with the artist, memories of the event, festival or local art gallery/co-op you purchased the art through, memories of your community and the people you are with. Looking at this art in the living room, kitchen or bedroom in your home is like looking at a cherished photograph, which immediately brings back so many special memories.
I revisited Eddie's website, http://www.pbase.com/eddiespaghettiart today and enjoyed looking at pictures of his other recent works online. I also enjoyed re-reading his description of printmaking/woodcut, his work with other materials such as clay, watercolor, oils, etc., his teaching and what inspires him. Here's a statement from Eddie that I felt a particular connection with.
"My inspiration comes from nature's bountiful beauty. By making art, I feel I can live closer to the spirit that moves through all things."