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When I asked where she lived it was nowhere near my home. Had I known someone who lived closer to her that I could refer her to I would have sent her on her way, but she was a friend of a friend and I did not want to disappoint my friend. To discourage her I said I charged a high fee for driving all the way out to where she lived in the high desert, it was more than one hundred and fifty miles away. She insisted that I come the following Saturday, and that the fee was not a problem. ?

Caught between a rock and a hard surface.

As arranged I showed up at her house early the following Saturday morning only to discover it was nothing more than a framed textured print on masonite. Masonite had not been discovered in the hallowed time of Homer. In asking her to describe the painting she never mentioned it was on a hard surface. It goes without saying I didn’t ask the right questions either, but that’s for another day.

She was adamant that the texture proved it was an original oil painting. Look at the way the texture matches the painting she kept saying. I explained the problem to the woman, explained the technique and the process to her, it took an hour just to get out of her house and she didn't want to pay the fee because I didn't agree with her. ?

I’ll get a ‘real’ expert she yelled.

Her parting shots at me were that I had no idea what I was talking about and that she was going to a 'real' expert to appraise and sell the painting. I asked her kindly to keep in touch and let me know how much she sold the painting for. I never heard from her again. But my friend still talks to me.

About the Author

Lawrence Klepper

Lawrence Klepper

As an artist, Gallery Management Instructor, Gallery Director, Independent Curator, and Special Exhibitions Coordinator for City art museums, college art galleries, and commercial galleries in Califor...