My office at work doubles as a critically acclaimed fine art gallery. There are no Bruegels, Van Goghs, Rembrandts, or Brassaus (O.K. you got me on that last one. Brassau, as in Pierre Brassau, was acknowledged as a master until it was revealed that he was, in fact, a chimpanzee). However, the featured artist is quite well known to me. I call her Maddie. I am not dropping names here to appear suave and sophisticated. I call her Maddie because that is her name. You see, Maddie is my 10 year old daughter. Over the years she has provided me with many wonderful masterpieces to display in my office. In fact, I have more pieces than I have wall space. Some are simple, some are colorful, and some are quite complex. Maddie has gone through several noticeable phases in her work. There was the fingerpaint phase, the spiral phase, the, errr, eclectic phase. Each one is unique, but signature Maddie.
Several years ago when my office gallery was situated in Ohio, a person came to visit me and commented on my extensive art collection. This was not all that unusual of an occurrence. However, this particular connoisseur actually made an offer to buy one of the pieces that had tickled his fancy. When I told Maddie about this, it was such a thrill for her. It somehow validated her work well beyond any praise that I could give. This was an independent, outside judge - an outside judge offering cold, hard simoleons! Maddie still reminds me of this episode every now and then. She has authorized me to tell you that if you are interested in any of the items from her extensive catalog, have your people call her people. (Cash only. No dealers please.)