I stood there in the vintage emporium for about ten minutes. The price tag was thrifty, but I’d had a slugger of bills and had to be boring, dragging myself away.
But not before taking this photo.
The artist is Louis Shabner. Some fame in the 70’s, for his doe-eyed beauties. The same artist who made a haunting picture that hung in my grandparent’s 300 year old house, at the end of a long corridor; the ancestral home of my mother, lost to the green hills in Cheshire, which went to auction and broke my heart.
It was of a woman standing in brackish water, all tawny skin and black hair, arms crossed over her chest with a green-black forest at her back. I can only assume she had an epic metabolism to stand the cold.
Her eyes followed you down the corridor. She freaked people out, but I adored that painting; used to dream of the dark woodland behind her, and the long sliver of light-dark on the water, which looked like a pike.
This picture, The Falconer, reminds me more of the recurring dream I had as a child and through my teens – of a red-rock canyon surrounded by mountains, under a setting sun that never died. I was the last survivor of a battle, with all my friends and enemies dead around me, their blood washing into the red stones and turning them black. As I got older, the faces would change.
I haven’t had that dream for a long time now.