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Postcard - Orpheus from the B Train Painting

Sarah Gilbert Fox

United States

Painting, Acrylic on Canvas

Size: 48 W x 36 H x 1.5 D in

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About The Artwork

How to name a painting? I have no clue. I only know why I gave this painting its name. When we were really young, our Dad left us and moved to Manhattan. I don’t remember him leaving, but I do remember taking my first airplane trip, destination NYC. Dad picked me up and we took a taxi from LaGuardia to his Upper West Side Apartment (801 West End Ave, to be exact), where I walked in to discover that I had three new siblings that nobody had ever mentioned before. Of course, that was disturbing on many levels, but on levels I didn’t have to deal with as a kid because there was just so much to do in NYC! Go right to Central Park or left to Riverside Park. Get chocolate Italian ices. Grab slices of pizza. Watch hotdog vendors load up our hotdogs with mustard and sauerkraut. (Sauerkraut? For a southern girl?!) Dodge panhandlers, dog poop and little old ladies with shopping carts that cursed at me for no apparent reason. And, of course, take the subway. I loved taking the subway. I still love it. But back then, as a kid, it was magical. People in suits holding briefcases and the handrails that descended from the ceiling, partially blocking the advertisements of almost embarrassingly (for a young girl standing beside her father), uber sexy women selling liquor and cigarettes. Some read folded newspapers, others stared at the windows, not really noticing the darkness, then the quick bright lights, the darkness, the quick bright lights as the express train passed the local stops. When the train did jolt to a stop, people would rush out, people would rush in, and the train would jump to a start, the smell of grease and metal permeating the air, blending in with the bloopy, loopy graffiti on the walls of the station and the walls of the cars above the heads of those who sat on the train – or slept on the train with their heads so far back and their mouths so wide open that frogs could have jumped in. I’d come up from more tame cities – Atlanta, GA or Columbia, SC (depending) – where everything was measured by blocks, so the subways maps that were plastered on the gritty subway walls, with their lines and dots, seemed an easy solution for getting lost. Of course, that proved to be wrong. On one trip with my Dad, the train pulled up to the station and he disembarked. But I didn’t. Just as the doors had opened, a girl around my age (maybe 7) looked at me strangely, then deliberately turned her ice cream cone upside down and smashed it on top of my arm. I was too shocked to move and the doors shut with Dad trying frantically to get back in. There wasn’t anything to fear, I thought, because of the map with the single lines and the dots. Right? Wrong. Somehow I ended up on or around Canal Street, with vendors who had foreign accents and sold anything and everything: fake watches, knock off designer shoes, old buttons, fishnet stockings with matching gloves, swatches of giraffe and zebra skin, etc. I wasn’t in Kansas anymore, that was for sure. And I was terrified. I remember thinking, “Don’t look back, just keep walking forward,” mainly because the man who sold the animal skin swatches seemed to be following me! At some point I must have been crying, because a woman took me back to Dad’s apartment building. In typical Dad fashion, he made a lot of jokes and offered me a beer. That was my Dad. And that was my NYC in the 60’s and 70’s. Soooo… all this to explain why I gave this painting the title: Postcard: Orpheus on the B Train. Here are the reasons why: I hate naming paintings I’m forced to name paintings I asked my brother, Adam (probably the smartest+most+creative person on this planet), if he’d help me name this particular painting, so he did. (I added “Postcard” to it, since it is part of my Postcard Series.) But before I did, I had to make the title make sense, so I thought about my memories as a young child taking the NYC subway. This memory fit. Just like me, Orpheus wasn’t supposed to look back. Unfortunately, he did. I don’t know if I did or not, but I did end up getting home, and I grew up and I painted this painting. Et voila! My process: My go-to paint brands are predominately Golden and Liquitex. Sometimes Utrecht, Blick and Sennelier creep in there, too. The brushes used are whatever is hanging around not covered in paint. I also use a lot of cotton cloths to blend the paint around. Oh, yes, and my trusty spatula knife. Almost all of my paintings are finished off with my own painting-framing technique, which allows the paintings to be hung without frames. The process is organic, with me putting a lot of Payne's gray in the palm of my hands, and then palming the color around the sides of the painting - bleeding over the edge a bit - so the sides of the painting are black. Payne's gray was the first paint I used to do this, and it's sort of a good luck thing. I like to think that the luck is passed onto whomever is looking at the paintings. The buyers who have decided to have my work frame, tend to use floating frames. I'm a published novelist. I've written 4 novels (translated into 14 languages). But I love painting more. My novels were deemed funny and people wrote that my stories brought them great pleasure and happiness. I hope that my paintings will do the same. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Sarah

Details & Dimensions

Painting:Acrylic on Canvas

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:48 W x 36 H x 1.5 D in

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Delivery Time:Typically 5-7 business days for domestic shipments, 10-14 business days for international shipments.

Sarah Gilbert Fox's art was discovered by Walter Cronkite (news anchor), shown in the Portfolio Art Gallery in Columbia, South Carolina and now hangs in the lobby of The Homestead Inn in Greenwich Connecticut (a Relais & Châteaux inn). She is a published novelist, and has written 4 novels (translated into 14 languages) - including the novelization of A League of Their Own. She has always sculpted and painted, but has only this year decided to put aside her career as a novelist and instead focus solely on her painting.

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