Our daughter lives in Poteau Oklahoma (that alone is a story itself!) and we went to see her last October. Blue Door pottery artist, Dave Johnson, who makes our bird feeders and baths, lives right on the border of Arkansas and Missouri and we have to drive right past his place. Whenever one of us is making the trip back and forth we try to pick up work from Dave and save all of us shipping expenses. Dave was doing a show this particular weekend. The show was sort of like the Spoon River Drive where you could drive to different destinations to see different work. So we went to Dave's location and this is where we met Leon. This show was a mixed bag of a little art work and lots of painted pumpkins so Leon's work stood out to me. I approached Leon about putting his work in a store like ours and before I could even finish my pitch he said no.... and continued to tell me why. Leon is approaching 70 and his personality is sort of like Walter Matthau in Grumpy Old Men... not really grumpy but says what he thinks and is still very likable and humorous.... Anyway, I knew I wasn't going to change his mind but I continued to have a pleasant conversation with him. And as the conversation continued he finally asked where we were from... and we said Springfield Illinois.... and Leon's eyes lit up! Just so happens that Leon does the Old State Capitol Art Fair* and it is always his best show of the year..... and then his attitude towards the store started to change.....lol! Anyway he called me after we got home from the trip and told me he would like to give us a try. In January I made the trip to his home in Springfield Missouri and picked out the work to bring back to The Blue Door. Whimsical, fun, hand built clay sculpture..... mostly for your outdoor spaces.... is the best way to describe it. It's easy to see why he is one of Springfield's favorites at our local art shows.
* Leon has also done Edward's Place Fine Arts Fair.