As an artist I believe it is important to appreciate, collect, and share the work of other artists. If I didn’t it would be like being a writer who didn’t read books. If I am influenced by anything, it is the work of other artists. Today was a lucky day..a very lucky day. I stopped into my favorite antique store in Berlin, Vintage Junky, to wander the rows and be inspired. I love this store because they not only sell antiques, they sell repurposed pieces as well as some crafts. I have yet to stop in and not find a treasure. Today I found two. First I picked up an old drying rack for $15, a great deal,and a just the perfect size. And then I spotted this lovely piece. It’s an oil on an 14″X18″ canvas, in a beautiful frame. I loved the women, the colors, everything. The woman in the shop didn’t know anything about the artist, but a quick google of “Marilene painter” revealed that the piece was done by Marilene Sawaf, a NH by way of Egypt, artist. I quickly bought the piece and my drying rack and rushed home to research her. I hung the piece immediately in my dining room, see below! And then I researched Marilene and discovered that the piece I bought was worth significantly more than I paid for it.My “Antiques Roadshow moment.” Not millions or anything, but let’s just say, I scored. The truth is that it’s price doesn’t really matter; I really love this piece and everything else I saw of Marilene’s and I’d never sell it. Her work has inspired me. This morning, my husband asked me if I was interested in taking more art classes to improve my painting skill. Absolutely I am. Oddly, I had said to him, “well I’m not really sure I could ever be a figure painter..” but after seeing Marilene’s work, I’m inspired to try. I’m so excited for finding this piece and adding to my own art collection. And I’m really excited to see how this work influences my own practice.