Monday, November 03, 2008

I'm in Love with Charles Banks Wilson

Charles Banks Wilson with a reproduction of a portrait he painted of Will Rogers -- Wilson was 14 at the time.

Fayetteville, Arkansas -- today we visited Charles Banks Wilson at his home/studio. What a lovely, gracious and talented man! He let a gaggle of travel writers invade his space and offered to answer any questions we asked. We asked, he answered -- with great wit and patience. I wish I'd had my tape recorder -- pearls were dripping from his lips and I could only grab a few. My favorite -- advice to parents -- "give your children what they need, then get out of their way." This was in answer to a question about how his parents felt about his wanting to become and artist. He felt that they had done just that. I'll never look at the paintings in the Oklahoma State Capitol the same way -- I have touched the hand that held the brush. And it was really special.

"Suzanna and the Elders" painted by Wilson in 1978. "I drove over a hill and there was this woman bathing in a stock tank. She waved at me and I waved back. I think the Herefords look like lecherous old men."

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