Originally published in 1998 as » Daily Drawing Nr. 22

Well, I knew it … Yesterday I mentioned the speech opening an exhibition entitled “On observing the creative process.” I told you I used a different painting to illustrate the point. I have to show it today. This is it. There is a nice anecdote, too.

This painting belongs to a friend of my wife, Edith. They knew each other before my wife knew me. My wife Elke is a teacher, and the eldest daughter of Edith was in the first class of Elke. My wife has studied arts, and Edith always dreamt of owning art, so she asked her to accompany her to a gallery some time, giving her advice. They never did, though. Money was scarce, Edith got one child and another and still another and then a fourth.

She had three when we met. Now I was a friend of her friend, but when I married Elke, she came to know my paintings. She abhorred them. She looked at some other place when she was with us. You can do that.

Well, after some years, she found out she looked forward to visiting us because she could see those pictures again. Now that was a surprise, wasn’t it! I didn’t know either way. Again, some time passed, when she approached me asking to give a picture on loan. That was all right with me. (In the meantime, I was a full time painter.) I gave her some small paintings. Then she asked having a larger painting. Ok, I advised her to select one. She knew already. It was 226.

Now a couple of weeks later she told me she hadn’t been quite honest. She never meant to return this painting. She asked at how she could pay for it. We went to my bank, she asked for a loan to pay for the painting and paid it off for 2 or 3 years. Of course, I needed the sale badly, too.

Her husband scolded at her for the expense she paid off her household’s money. She’d rather pay a scrub woman. Years later, when they were divorced, he wanted to take the painting with him. He had a strong relation to that painting, had often dreamt of it, the figures being in his dreams, he knew them by name (I don’t). But, of course, it was her painting, and Edith has an even stronger relation to it. All figures are alive in her soul, live with her, she grows with respect to them, and when I visit her, I enjoy this great painting once more.

See also new scan  226