Western

 

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When our children were very young and my husband was transferred from place to place by his company, I would enter local painting shows. On one occasion, I was approached by a man who asked whether I could paint paintings with a Western theme. I replied that I had not painted Westerns before, but that I thought I certainly would be able to do that. We had no "extra" money, so he purchased oil paints, canvas, brushes, stretchers, and other items I would need. He brought several Indian history books and wanted me to paint portraits of various famous Indian Chiefs. He said his business extended to Western states where there was a big market for Western paintings and he knew he could sell them. So I painted at night when the children were asleep. At least twenty portraits of Indian Chiefs. He was pleased, and then wanted me to paint copies of Russel paintings. I was very conflicted, but decided if I refused to sign them except with my name identifying it as a copy, it would be all right. Unfortunately I was very naive; it always seemed that he would bring me more paints and supplies and an explanation about why the payments that I was expecting had to be reduced or delayed. After months of this, I went to his office and retrieved the very few Western paintings he still had with him. It developed that he was in debt to many other people as well. My husband received a transfer to another state and the attorney said that there were so many others filing claims it was unlikely that the money recovered would even cover the extensive legal fees. So I chalked it up to experience,and haven't done another Western painting since.