Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our Visit To John Dunn's Home

You know one of the things that I like to do and firmly believe that it is critical to the survival and growth of our industry is the sharing of information. That is just what I try to do and some people feel that maybe I share too much. Oh well. There is just information that I feel needs to be shared. I am extremely lucky that in 4 short years I have been able to spend time with some FANTASTIC artists and this weekend was no exception. Mark and I drove up to Massachusetts to spend time with an outstanding artist and that artist is John Dunn. What in the world can I say about this visit that describes the complete experience. I would say that I was in total awe at John. Not only does he have beautiful collections of pewter, Hummels, moustache cups, stoneware, baskets, copper, toy banks, toys, early American folk art, Peter Ompir/Warner Wrede pieces but of course he has his beautiful paintings.

What a truly beautiful experience this weekend turned out to be with spending time with an artist that is fully surrounded by color. John loves color. We are sitting in his studio and John was showing how he paints his beautiful fruit, how he highlights that same fruit and even a little antiquing information. He shared so much information with us that there were times I was overwhelmed. John would sit there a take a little dab of Alizarin Crimson, a little yellow, some green, and pull a beautiful leaf where all of the colors he used displayed beautifully. He did not layer the colors this was done all in one stroke. He would sit there and say "just look that those colors", "They're beautiful" and they were just that. I do not think that I have ever experience anyone that was so in to color. I loved every minute of it. His studio is so organized with every type of paints you could image (oils, acrylics, metallic, etc.) and BRUSHES. He had so it seemed thousands of brushes of which most were brand new. An awesome experience that I will carry with me forever.

We also took a little trip over to another property where John has his finished pieces. Did you know that John also does flower arrangements and even creates Tiffany lamp shades (with glass)? Unbelievable his talents. He held up a Tiffany shade that he had created to the light and said "Just look at all the colors". It was truly beautiful. The colors just popped. While at this property Mark and I started to select those pieces that we were going to bring back to sell at this year's conference and through our online store. We have brought back 44 pieces that everyone will be able to select and buy. We are currently photographing all the pieces so we can get them up on the website asap. BEAUTIFUL pieces. Did I say BEAUTIFUL? Of course, I purchased 3 outstanding pieces that John had just completed to add to our collection.........oh boy! I will post pictures of these available pieces later but the pictures I am posting here are of our visit with John, his collections and of course his beautiful paintings. Check out the painting on canvas of the watermelon slice. My gosh, the colors are unbelievable. They just pop. To be surrounded by such beauty every day is just unreal. I could sit and stare at all of his collections and paintings for hours.

After the little shopping spree of John Dunn originals, we drove back to John's house where he cooked a mean dinner for us and we just sat around talking about Peter Ompir and Warner Wrede. The stories of Peter and Warner's farm, antique shop and their painting styles were just priceless. John gave me a real Peter Ompir check that they used for their business back then so now that is part of my collection. After dinner we went back to John's studio where he again painted for us, gave us tips, viewed some more of his collection of Peter Ompir and just chatted. What a truly fantastic experience. We left John's around 9 pm mainly because all of us were getting a little tired and we certainly did not want to wear out our welcome. John has invited us back up to his house any time we would like to go and you better believe that we intend to go back especially to personally paint with John.

The next morning we hit the road around 5:30 am to drive back to Virginia. All the way back can you guess what we talked about? You are right, our truly outstanding visit with an exceptional person and artist...........John Dunn. What a great weekend. Please enjoy the pictures.