Last week, I fell in love. Completely, utterly, head over heels in love. Who is the lucky man you ask? Well actually, it's not a man. It's a painting. Yup, you read that right, I fell in love with a painting.
I was in Bridport for the weekend and I paid a visit to the Pierrepoint Gallery in South Street.
I oohed and ahhed a lot over the paintings as I went round and then, I saw it. The most amazing, fantastic, inspiring, powerful piece of art I have ever seen.
It depicts a sunset over a rough sea but not the vaguely inspid, sweetly sentimental ones you usually see in photographs. No, this painting showed Mother Nature at her most powerful. I felt like I was watching her exerting her dominance, or, in more West Country terms, giving it some welly.
I stared at it for a while, sighed, then went off to have a look at the rest of the gallery. But I couldn't stay away, I had to go back and have a look. Unlike the rest of the artwork, it didn't have a plaque with the name of the artist and price, in fact.it wasn't even mounted. Instead it was resting on an easel, as if it hadn't found a home yet.
My friend D said I should get it but I scoffed and said there was no way I'd ever be able to afford it as it was bound to be over a grand.
The gallery owner noticed my interest and came over to chat. He informed me that the painting was just £695, information which made my heart leap. I'm not sure why, as that is about as out of my range as £1k would be but somehow, it didn't seem so. What's more, it had only just been finished. It seemed like fate.
Then he passed me over to his colleague who turned out to be the artist himself. (Simon Read, in case you were wondering, you can see more of his work here)
Unlike other sellers, these two lovely men didn't try to pressure me into buying, though they did inform me about a scheme called OwnArt which is designed to help people to afford to buy art. That way I could make ten monthly payments and have my very own genuine oil painting.
I ummed a lot and that's when he said he would reserve it for me, ready for me to make up my mind. No pressure, no obligation, just there so if I do decide to buy, it won't be too late. What a difference from being talked into buying something so you don't miss out!
So there you have it. My love affair with a painting. Will I decide to splurge on what could be the love of my life? Watch this space.