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Art smarts: Persevering to paint and eat
Art smarts: Persevering to paint and eat


he other day I had an epiphany about my thighs.

See, at some point a long time ago, I figure, my thighs got lost. And now, wherever they go, they just gotta stick together.

Buddy system. Pretty smart.

But enough about them. I wanna talk about Art. No, not your Uncle Art in Absarokee. I mean, ART.

Art who, you ask? MY Art, that's whose (

But before we go much further, let's take this little pop-quiz — just to see if YOU have what it takes to be an artist. Here we go: Six kings of England have been called George, the last being George the Sixth. Name the previous five. (Answer at end of column.).

Meanwhile, back in our last episode (if you can remember back as far as two weeks ago), I had gone and up-and-died on you guys. And while going toes-up made my paintings worth a lot more money, it didn't do much for my social life. In fact, some readers were rather stiff to the idea of my passing, voicing their displeasure with me and threatening grave consequences.

Hey, be nice! Cadavers are people too, you know!

So anyway, I'm "back" — and I'm here to report that there ain't no bright light at the end of the tunnel. Just a big slab of frybread, slathered in honey-butter, topped with a dollop of blackberry jam and sprinkled with chocolate chips.

But I digress.

The best thing about being "back," is that now I can get down to the business of being an artist.

You see, an artist needs two lifetimes — one to learn HOW to paint, and another, simply, to PAINT.

Another good thing about being "back," is being invited to show your work at exciting new art shows, like the Big Ol' Hairy Arizona Art Show that I was recently involved with.

OK, it was actually called the Best of the West Fine Art Show and Sale.

Apache lingo The exhibit was sponsored by the Diamond West Gallery in Pinetop, Ariz., and held at the fashionable Hon-Dah Resort/Casino on the nearby Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

"Hon-Dah" is the Apache word for "welcome! Spend money!"

LOTS of art-lovers heard the "welcome" part, and came in droves (and other SUVs) to view paintings by some of the country's best and most well-known artists … annnnd, me.

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Unfortunately, not all the art-lovers have a comprehensive grasp of the Apache language.

Even though sales may have been down, this was an excellent show, nonetheless. It was well-orchestrated by the organizers (who treated the artists as if they were royalty). The collection of artwork on display was rich in beauty, variety and theme. But the "Best" part of the show was that a generous portion of the proceeds from the sale of artwork went to benefit youth programs run by the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

Subliminal appeal As for me (, well, I sold enough to cover plane tickets for my wife and myself, and still buy a slab of frybread or two. But that's all.

Which makes me wonder, sometimes, whether or not I was smart in choosing Art as a career.

I DO know one thing though: There are no subliminal messages in this column, and, choosing Art as a career had nothing to do with "smarts."

Art chose ME.

And while Art and I may not be getting rich at all, there's one thing we've learned from the wisdom of our thighs — you've got to stick with it.

Answer to pop-quiz:

If you're even looking down here, you may be dumber than we thought. You should probably put down the newspaper right now, before someone gets hurt, and take up a career in Art.

John Potter's Whatever column is published in The Gazette every other Saturday. Readers may contact Potter at

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