A few days before I prepared my third art book ‘’Modern Impressions Book 3’’ for publishing, I had a very strange visit to my Hilton Head Island little art gallery.
A very handsome and well-dressed man walked in; there was such energy and self-assurance coming out from him that I immediately thought that this visitor might very well turn out into a client.
I was at the back of the gallery doing a painting, I quickly clean my hands and waited for him to stop in front of one of my paintings. This was the right moment, I walked towards him.
Hi! I said with an engaging smile.
Hi! He replied.
The painting was a 36″ x 36″ landscape, one of the best if not the best I have ever produced and I was quite hopeful to make a sale to that fascinating man.
– Where are you from? I asked, hoping to put him in a good mood.
– I am from anywhere and everywhere!
That answer surprised me, he did not look like a weirdo, but that was a strange reply. My hope to make a sale had just dropped considerably. I decided to go on and play the game with him.
– What’s your name? I asked.
– You can call me God! He said with a smile.
Wow! That’s a good one, perhaps I should call Lise to come over and meet the weirdo… but before that, I decided to go a little further. Lise is my wife and a wonderful woman, but she does not like it when I tell her about the strange things that often happen in my life. She was reading a book behind the counter. I decided to wait for the conversation to go a little further before I would call her.
– That painting you are looking at is perhaps the best landscape painting I have ever produced. There is a good balance between the elements, the play of light, the color harmony and the movement of my pallet-knife is giving it a life of its own.
– I like it too.
– It is $10,000.00.
– I know Richard!
He knew my name, but I did not recall ever meeting him. My memory is so weak. People visiting my gallery and meeting me usually remember me while I can’t. I can’t remember all those people I meet every day. I did not want to offend him and ask him where we have met before. I let it pass.
– Do you want it?
– Yes, I buy it.
It was too easy; I could not believe he was sincere and yet the kind of man that says I can call him God could well buy the painting just to show me how important he is.
– Will you pay it by check or credit card? I asked, doubting that this was going to turn out into a sale.
– I already paid for it! I transferred the money into your checking account!
Wow! That’s a good one…I thought, and easy to verify; for we artists are not used to have much money in our checking account and when we do have some, we are anxious to check the bank balance statement when we receive it. I had received it the day before and knew there was $38,000.00 in it. I had even told my wife about it to put her in a good mood. I decide to go on playing the game with him.
– Do you want me to bubble wrap it?
– There is no need, I already have it in my office!
– But the painting is still on the wall…
– I made you a copy! He replied.
That was really becoming weird.
– Lise, I would like you to come over and meet my visitor.
– There is no one with you Richard, you are talking to your painting or to an imaginary person.
I turned my head back toward the stranger, he wasn’t there anymore. He had simply disappeared. I wasn’t convinced that I had imagined the whole thing, it had been too real.
Perhaps there was a way to know if it was real, I decided to look at my bank statement. It was very recent; I had received it the day before. I went to my desk and pulled it out.
– What are you doing?
– Do you remember Lise how much there was in the bank statement? I showed it to you yesterday.
– Yes, it was $38,000.00, right?
– Yes, that’s what it was, I remember clearly.
I opened the file and there it was: a new total, $48,000.00!!!!!!!!
I started shaking; the whole thing was true; I had just met with God and He had just bought one of my paintings. And… the painting on the wall of our art gallery was a God made copy!
I was under shock, God love my work, He came into our gallery, talked with me and bought one of my paintings; the very best I ever made perhaps, and it was now hanging in his office. But where would His office be? How did the money get deposited in my checking account?
I called the bank to find out and they told me the money had just been wire-transferred from a Swiss bank. I did not ask for more info, I did not need to know from which bank, that was none of my business, it was God privacy, and I would not tell anyone the name of that bank, so, I didn’t ask more info to my banker. I also decided that I would not sell the copy that God gave me.
I left the painting where it was, on the same wall and placed a card underneath « God copy, not for sale ».
Lise told me that people will laugh at me when seeing it, I would be ridiculed, it might even be detrimental to the gallery. I did not mind, and I did not think it would be detrimental.
I did not sell it.
That event happened 21 years ago. So, now I wonder, Is it true? Did I make this up? Did I dream it and after a while thought it was a real event? You decide. I may have dreamed the whole thing, right? Besides, I am a fiction writer. I added that story to my hard cover art book ‘’Modern Impression book 3’’, and it has not been detrimental.
In the following 19 years, I made and sold more than 4000 original paintings, an unprecedented success. I closed my Hilton Head Island gallery in December 2019. I am still painting, and you can meet me at my Boynton Beach artist studio if you are interested in my art. I am there from November to end of April every year, the rest of the year you can meet me in my Laval, QC artist studio.