David visited from London at the end of the summer, 2017. A large storm brewed off sea. It didn’t affect our weather, but churned up violent waves and such high tides that we had no beach, which forced its closure. We went over, just to look at the odd sight.
So we trundled over to the lap pool at our club. We’d never sat there before, but it was pleasant. We swam, then sat in the lounge chairs with our reading material. I leafed through “Vineyard Magazine” and came across an ad for a gallery we enjoy: The Granary Gallery. The painting in the background was a night scene, moody, beautiful. The interiors eminated glowing light. This is Jeanne Staples’ hallmark. We were intrigued. Off to the left was a favorite restaurant on the bottom, our club on top. In the forefront was the building used to weigh in the fish caught each day during the annual MV Derby competition, a big deal competition with various categories for various fish, caught from a boat or surf-casting from shore and adult and child divisions. Grand prize was a large motor boat, suitable to fish from. We would occasionally go to watch the weigh-ins. All fish were cleaned, gutted and the meat donated to the island senior center.
I loved the image as depicted in the ad, but didn’t know how large it was; was this the entire image? What were the dimensions? How much did it cost? We were looking to replace a few antique charts with real art. Would this be appropriate?
I showed the ad to Dan, who also was intrigued. We showered, dressed and headed over to see the show in West Tisbury. The painting is large and was hanging on the back wall of the gallery. It was stunning, one truly couldn’t look away. It was also too large for any space we could think of, and too expensive! The magazine image was cropped, it didn’t show the entire right side of the image.
But we really liked Jeanne’s work and immediately were drawn to a few other pieces of hers; cows grazing in Katama Farm (near us, actually), and continued to look for something for our dining room wall. Nothing quite fit the bill. The gallerist pulled up images that were not at the gallery, but scattered around the island. We went in search. A few turned out to be in Jeanne’s studio. She kindly brought a few over to our house to look at where they might work. She was very pleasant.
The assistant from the gallery brought over the large cows painting for us to try up in our den.
We loved it and agreed to keep it. We also decided on a scene on Beach Road, entering Oak Bluffs from the Edgartown side, along State Beach to hang in our dining room.
Clever Adam also brought the large, gorgeous “Derby Evening”. We protested; we had no good place for it. But it was SO alluring, such a fabulous painting, how could we resist? We walked from room to room – nope too large, or the colors didn’t work. We wandered into our sun room, all blues, green and white with lots of light. We had a blue barn star hanging on the white bead board wall. Could this be the spot? Adam valiantly held it up. MAGIC! It looked fantastic! Oh my goodness! Adam told us to live with it for a bit (always a great strategy; then the owner can’t live without it)! Of course we were totally over the moon about it. We had close friends come over to give their assessment. They loved it too.
We went back to the gallery owner to negotiate for all three works. He gave us a nice deal. Still, that one piece was the most expensive work of art (or anything else – clothing, jewelry, anything), we’d ever purchased.
We sit in the room all the time. It makes the space. Even when not in the room, I admire it when passing by. Our house was on the Edgartown house tour last year (for the second time). The artwork got the most comments (someone thought we had built the upstairs den around the cow painting). But the “Derby Evening, 2017” was the most admired. We held the house open a few extra minutes so that Jeanne and her husband could come and see where her works live in the world (we have since bought four more, smaller pieces by her; we are true Jeanne Staples collectors). But nothing compares to this work.
Retired from software sales long ago, two grown children. Theater major in college. Singer still, arts lover, involved in art museums locally (Greater Boston area). Originally from Detroit area.