Sunday, February 14, 2010

An Unusual Dedication for Mom

Whitney Grey is a good friend of mine; I've known him for almost 15 years. He lives on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation in the east valley (he's a Pima). Since I've known him, he's been a very sick man. He has so many ailments, I couldn't possibly describe them to you. I always joke with him that he'll never die.

Whitney is also a well-known artist, at least to those with an interest in Native American art. His works are in water color, with abstract themes using various symbols and designs of his people. The images he paints always come to him, he says, in dreams or spontaneously. I've wondered aloud if he gets his visions the same way Edgar Allen Poe got his story ideas; he just laughs. His work is in demand these days. He has been commissioned by Marriott to complete a series of paintings for the new casino hotel. He just finished three that will fetch about $3500.00. He may even get to work on a very large wall mural in the casino.

I called him the weekend after Mom died to let him know. He did what he could, saying prayers to his God. Some weeks later, he presented me with a painting he had done for the Jones Family as a memorial to Mom. It's presented below. I especially love how he used green on the painting. The painting is approximately 12in X 15in. When Mary gets time, I'll have her frame it. I know some of you are looking at this and thinking, what's the big deal?

But hey, in this day and age when someone can pee in a jar and stick in a crucifix, or insert an American flag in a toilet and get reviews from it, I would consider this to be a genuine work from a real artist. I thanked him profusely for his work.