|"Mr Samples" / 20X24 Oil on Canvas/ Eileen McCoy|
"THE PAINTING THAT BROUGHT HIS FATHER BACK"
I paint what inspires me. There is a school of thought that for every painting there exists an owner. In this case, the encounter between artist and collector turned out to be more than happenstance.
May this true tale bring you hope and encouragement for the coming New Year.
Artist: " In 2002, A local cafe owner invited me to hang some paintings on his shop walls. Among my selections for the show was a 20" X24" oil painting entitled "Gentleman in the White Fedora". I knew nothing about this man; only that he was a regal-looking chap I had often seen about town, sporting a white fedora hat and a cane and proudly watching the other locals mill about our county seat in Liberty, Missouri. In 1998, I drew some sketches and took some photos during our Liberty Fall Festival parade; and sometime between 1998 and 2001, I painted this oil of the (then) "unknown" gentleman.
Karie, The Granddaughter of the subject:
"(After my grandfather's death in May of 1999), my father went into an obscure coffee shop in town. (This was such an odd thing for my father to do. He is not the kind of man to wander into a coffee shop to sip on a hot beverage and hang out. This was really out of the ordinary for him but, nonetheless, he did it.) While he was there sipping on his coffee, he looked up at the artwork on the walls. One painting in particular caught his eye. It in fact, startled him. He couldn't believe his eyes. The painting hanging on the wall was the exact likeness of his recently deceased father. He was stunned..."
"I remember the man. He was the only person that came into that hidden, little cafe that day. He didn't seem to notice me as he ordered his coffee and sat down. I proceeded to hang the painting of "the unknown man" when, to my left, who should appear but a figure of a man intensely studying the painting. His expression was aghast..."
"Oh, do you know who this is? " I asked enthusiastically. " I have wondered who..."
Before I could finish my sentence, the mystified guest stated simply:
"It's my father. He's deceased."
"He of course bought the painting and brought it home. When he relayed the story to us, we were all as surprised as he was... Our family has always felt that it was fate that made my father wander into that coffee shop that day. We believe that painting was destined to be in our home. It felt like we had my grandfather back- if only for a moment. Eileen McCoy is the artist and she captured my grandfather’s essence perfectly. We are thankful that she chose to capture his image in her artwork. We cherish the painting.
"What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God."