|Artist: Dona Barnett, 2013|
I strolled into the open artist's studio. The smell of the river and the rain followed me inside. The roll-up garage doors made me think of an auto repair shop, but the walls were covered with beautiful paintings instead of wrenches and belts. Abstract but colorful and flecked with gold leaf. In the far back corner, a small woman with wiry blonde hair worked at a table. Around her she had spread five or six sheets of eight by ten paper. I stopped to take a look at the papers lying on the floor. She told me they were artist proofs, not good enough to become part of her series. I thought they were beautiful. The paper was the color of coconut milk and the print itself was sepia. She was selling them for five dollars. I watched her sign it with a pencil, her fingers covered in ink. She shrugged her shoulders as she handed it to me as if to say "sorry". I considered how I would get it through the rain and into the dryness of our car. I looked closely at the picture, a drawing of an empty nest drawn in the finest lines of black ink.