Monday, August 4, 2008

Outsider Artist, Doug Odom

Outsider Art: Doug Odom, "Girl with Doll" is one of two Odom paintings offered at The 31 Gallery.

I have to admit, I couldn't stay away from the Glenview art show yesterday. This urge to return and tell the two wonderful ladies at the show I had written about in the previous blog overtook me I’m very hopeful my readers will follow these artists, because I think their art will be searched out in the future by collectors and will survive the test of time. While I wasn’t looking for thanks, they thanked me so much, and I assured them this wasn’t going to be the last time they heard from me.

While my opinions from the previous day remain the same, there were a few of the artist who caught my eye again once I returned, but they were the same ones as before. And, while this is just one man’s opinion, this is all I can write about from the show. However, I did meet up with an old friend who was exhibiting, and I can once again say he was the hit of the show. I mentioned in yesterday’s blog I would write about this special artist today.

He is perhaps the best known outsider artist around, and his paintings are unique, and I knew I wasn’t alone in my opinion when I stood in his booth, crowded with people commenting in awe and excitement in their voices as they viewed his work for the first time. Once you see one of his paintings you can't help but comment on it. His name is Doug Odom, and one of the things I like best about his work is that it appeals to both children and adults.

Doug had became a friend of mine almost a year ago. In fact, he was a guest in my home and I got to spend some quality time with him. However, our friendship doesn't reflect in my judgment of his talent, which is huge. I never tireof his good old boy demeanor as he tells his audience about life in lower Alabama. Whether you wear a suit or a pair of jeans, you’ll stop and listen to what Doug is saying. I overheard a conversation between Doug and a gentleman in his booth that made me, as well as everyone else roar with laughter. The man asked Doug if he had an e-mail address, and Doug replied, “Not in Alabama.”

“How about a phone number?”

“Not one you could reach me on,” Doug replied.

By this time, I could see from the gentleman’s face he was getting frustrated, but it was then Doug told him, “I can tell you where I live.”

“Are you sure,” the man asked tongue in cheek, and the crowed gave out a huge laugh.

If you know me, I’m sure you’ll know by know that one of my stories is coming about this point, so here goes: As I was making my way toward Doug's booth, I noticed a man carrying a very large painting, but it was facing away from me. I walked around the man because I thought I recognized it. Sure enough, it was one of Doug's works I’ll call “The Yellow School Bus.” You see, I had seen him working on this piece the day before. At that time, it was just this large yellow bus with children riding on it. While I hung around his booth, I noticed that as children approached this painting he would ask them if they’d like to ride on the bus. If their answer was yes, he’d ask where they wanted to sit. You might have guessed, but when they told Doug where they wanted to sit, he’d paint them into the piece right where they chose to sit and added their name to the piece.

So, when I arrived at Doug’s booth, I thought I’d have a little fun with him. He saw me and I started looking around at the paintings. “Where’s my painting,” I asked Doug?

“Which one,” he asked?

“The Yellow School Bus.”

He thought for a moment, then pointed up the aisle and said, “It went that away.”

I couldn’t help but tell him I’d seen the man carrying it, and Doug told me it was going into a museum. Keep a keen eye out for Doug’s work because people haven’t yet fully recognized how unique it is. Our gallery has two of his pieces available and you can view them here.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your introduction to the work of Doug Odom. The story was charming!