The day before Thanksgiving, there was a knock on my door late in the afternoon. It turned out to be my mail carrier with a package that would not fit through the mail slot. It was not a surprise package as I was expecting a large envelope, but the thrill of surprise was there nevertheless.
The package contained a copy of American Coastal Art: The Collection of Charles J. and Irene Hamm by Genetta McLean, Ph. D. The volume, 240 pages in heft, documented this incredible collection of art, amassed over many decades, with the maritime world as its theme. I am humbled to say that it includes three of my works.
As I took a quick scan through the book, page after page filled with striking reproductions of the collected works, I was humbled even more to see that my works rubbed elbows with those of the likes of Fitz Henry Lane, Edward Moran, William Trost Richards, Alfred Bricher, John Henry Twachtman, Guy Wiggins, and a host of contemporary artists including many names known to me and especially my good friend, Cindy House with one of her magnificent pastel works.
Later in the evening, I took time to dig a bit deeper, stopping to read some of the accompanying text but leaving much of it for a fine winter's afternoon yet to come, when I can relax with a glass of wine and indulge, losing myself in the incredible beauty of this book.
To know that ones art has been added to a significant collection such as this, is a big feather in the cap. To know that the collectors saw something within my work that struck a chord similar to that struck by work of those 19th Century masters noted above, is overwhelming. It is the kind of recognition that all creative people seek as a way of validating our daily efforts and I am, indeed, honored and humbled to have my work included in this collection and in this volume that will hold that validation for years to come.