Saturday, May 5, 2018

The "Muse"


A friend of mine told me that I should go to the AltaMira Fine Art Gallery in Scottsdale and see a show of paintings by Robert Townsend.  I'm so glad I did just that.  His paintings gave me a rush of feelings, flooding me with memories and nostalgia.

Robert Townsend is a realist artist who has created a series of paintings celebrating the life of a woman he's never met.  It all started when he purchased a box of slides from Ebay and was confronted with a woman who would become his muse.


After reviewing the slides carefully, he found one photo of her and her husband and they were wearing name tags.  He discovered her name was actually Helen and more internet research led to her obituary.  He contacted the funeral home and asked if they would contact her next of kin and have them call him.  Two hours later, he got that call from Helen's niece.  From there, the project of painting Helen grew in scope.

Film makers Ric and Jen Serena started documenting his journey which resulted in an award winning documentary film called "My Indiana Muse".  You can see a clip of the film here.  (I highly recommend taking a look.)

I was so touched by the show and the story, I just had to share it with all of you.  I want to thank Audrey E. Parish, the director of the AltaMira Gallery for letting me take these photos. I enjoyed the show with a tiny tear in my eye and a full heart.


8 comments:

biebkriebels said...

This is fun, can hardly believe these are paintings, they look like photos.

RedPat said...

The whole story makes me feel teary too, Sharon!

William Kendall said...

A fascinating story!

Lowell said...

Incredible. Box of slides on eBay. Wow. What gets to me is that Helen (and thus, the slides) are my vintage. I grew up with these clothes and slides and key tags and maps. I remember those hairdos and dresses and shirts. And the cars. This all made me very nostalgic for better times gone by although they probably weren't really better times. Thanks for sharing this story and the paintings. I'm leaving now to look for my muse on eBay!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I looooved the video clip Sharon, would love to see whole movie! Wonder if I could on YouTube.. will check! Gosh isn't he an amazingly talented artist.. he really did find his perfect muse when he bought those slides.. it was meant to be!

Steve Reed said...

Wow! I LOVE THIS!!! I am going to go right out and find that documentary.

bill burke said...

Wow! What an incredible story. I'm going to check out the link after I finish here. Thanks for sharing, Sharon.

Jack said...

Sharon, this is such an interesting story. And the paintings do bring back thoughts of a long gone past. I also would have loved the show.