Eric’s Funny Part
“…one day we were flying over the New England country side. ‘Someday soon,’ I said, ‘I must do a book about trees and wood.’ Down below, the wooded hills were just turning to their autumn colors, and the shadow of our plane raced across a sea of crimson and russet.”
When he was building his home in Santa Fe, he had some boastfully-wonderful old weathered boards. They were being saved to build doors and kitchen cabinets. He loved their roughness. They were stored outside in the sun and rain where they could take on more of a color that he called “personality gray.”
But while he was back east for a short visit the carpenters nailed them up as joists. Eric’s recovery period was rather lengthy and I dutifully listened to the story more than a few times during our frequent lunches.
Eric never lived to know that my dedication in Seventeen Dollars a Square Inch (a personal tribute to Eric Sloane) was really a dedication to his memory, in a funny abstract way.
When Eric learned I was collecting artists palettes, he lamented that he didn’t have one to give me. He had no use for one when he painted because he mixed his paints on a wooden board that was attached to his easel. “Never mind that,” he probably thought, “I’ll just saw off my mixing board and give that to Forrest.”
And that’s what he did, but not before painting a covered bridge and nailing a favored old paintbrush on for added flavor.
Although I had palettes from many important artists, including Nicolai Fechin, none was more revered than Eric’s.
I just measured the palette with my spread right hand, which is exactly 8 ¼ inches, little finger nail, to thumb nail. So the palette is 33 ½ inches wide. But just for fun I measured it with my ruler also. Yup, 33 ½ inches wide. I always like to be exact. f