An original oil painting by June Pauline Zent
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This painting was inspired by watching my daughter walking with her grandfather on a sunny spring afternoon. It occurred to me that just the hands alone were rich in symbolism to convey the essence of my feelings about this scene.
As with many of my paintings this one has a history of true stories. A few are a bit fantastic but true non the less. When relating them some people look aghast as if thinking that they were conjured by yours truly. To combat this impression I have always photographed checks for commissioned and purchased originals. In addition all correspondence both personal and business have been saved as proof and also as an accurate record of my work. The reader is welcome to request proof of these true stories.
In the beginning this canvas was set up on a table easel in my kitchen where I alternately cooked and painted and sometimes both simultaneously. The work was about three-fourths finished on a snowy Sunday morning while I was busy at the stove. A full ashtray was sitting just below the painting; not exactly good technique, when one of my then four kids took a deep breath and blew ashes all over the painting. You have heard that most artists have a temper and mine was boiling! I shouted ” If you don’t want me to paint then I wont!” Grabbing the canvas I stomped to the back door and heaved it out into the snow. My husband, who was an ardent fan ran outside and rescued it. After he blew off the snow and ash it was in perfect condition. He squirreled it away out of my sight and the “Drama Queen” completed the dinner crying all the while. Later he packed up the canvas and all of my equipment in the car, handed me the keys to a volunteered dental office and said, ” Go and finish this painting”. The lighting in that office was wonderful as was the blessed quiet. I painted away and the work was finished by morning thanks to a very caring husband!
This work was first publicly shown at a sidewalk art show on Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg, Virginia. when the show date arrived I was in labor with our third son in the hospital. True to his nature Courtney hauled the artwork to Williamsburg and sat up the display at the show. The painting won Best of Show, First Place Oil, and the Peoples Choice Award. Then he rushed back to the hospital to announce the win and see his new son! There was even an article in the newspaper the next day heralding his gallantry. Copy saved!
The canvas was a part of my display in several more shows winning more awards and because people seemed to relate to it so much I decided to publish a limited Edition Print of 2,000 images which eventually sold out. Recently I have produced with the new technology a Limited Edition Gicle’e Print because I continue to receive request for this image. You will be surprised to learn who purchased the original oil and the stories that continue about this painting. Writing is not exactly my medium. You might have guessed that! It is slow and painfully done but as you will see if you return these stories need to be told and I am the only person who qualifies to relate them. Please come back for more about They Walked Together in the next post.