I’ve illustrated the power of kettle corn to influence people with my story on how I got a very colorful woman to dress all in black for a day just by wielding a bag of kettle corn. (This happened back in 2007 at our Springfield location.) I’ve been told I like to instigate things, or maybe I’m just an asshole in general. At our Framingham location, there is an artist who likes to paint landscapes and sells them at the market. I constantly ask him how the painting biz is going and he typically replies in the negative. I imagine there isn’t a lot of demand for original oil paintings at the farmers market. I thought I would “help”.
I asked him if he has ever painted on velvet. Never. I asked him how much would it cost to commission an original piece of artwork – a velvet Elvis. (Velma and I thrive on filling our house with tacky shit.) He said he doesn’t do portraits, only landscapes – no thanks. Fine. Since I was “commissioning” this artwork, I wanted the ultimate landscape. I wanted to see: a mountain with a waterfall and stream next to a cabin with deer in the foreground all leading to a beach with waves, palm trees, a boat, jumping dolphins and a setting moon. (I thought the black velvet would work nicely as a nighttime scene.) Oh yea, and throw in a UFO someplace.
I thought I had the perfect offer. I would pay to see this created, then I’d offer to put my painting on commission inside his tent, so if/when it sold he’d get paid TWICE. I was trying my damndest to get him to see my logic – if MY painting were to be the only one sold inside his tent, he’d have to completely reconsider his artist thrust. This could be where the money is! He didn’t see my logic and declined the entire proposition.
A week later he brings me “Velma Visits A Big Mountain”! (By Crofton Bergheister) A stunning piece of artwork done on a DKNY (size 12) velvet camisole. Certainly velvet doesn’t demand the slightest respect, and draping the “canvas” over another used canvas is definitely apropos. You’ll notice the eagle carrying away a sheep in the right corner with the little yellow splortch ON the mountain represents our tent. Bravo. Crofton got a free bag of kettle corn. Here’s what he had to say via a recent email:
The DKNY pelt for the painting was captured at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop in Framingham, Massachusetts, after a brief but dangerous struggle with that shop‚s sequestered (but not tamed) herd of miscellaneous fabrics.
Escaping from the fabrics, I ran headlong into the DKNY hanging in the Women‚s Tops section. A glance told me its velvety pelt was just right for “Velma Climbs a Big Mountain”, a painting I had envisaged years before.
The painting first crept into my creative endeavors in a dream, of a tall man incessantly urging me to ‘paint on velvet, paint on velvet.”
But until now, I never found quite the right taxidermy to express it. The capture was bloodless. This particular DKNY (blue tagged at 99 cents) might be of the velveteen species ˜ it was taken close to a much heavier, true velvet concoction that would have set me back $3.99, more ammunition than I wanted to expend.
Little known outside its native China, DKNYs usually reach American shores as stowaways in general cargo ships. Most are captured at the dock and incarcerated in high-end women‚s shops, destined to become the pets of wealthy patrons.
It is unknown how this little pelt came to the St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop. We‚ll never know whether its mistress grew tired of it and simply discarded it, or whether it was a (rejected) gift from an unwelcome admirer, or any of a hundred different grim scenarios. Fortunately, the DKNY is generally a placid animal and was not intent on revenge.
Certainly St. Vincent would not have had any direct contact with the original owner, as he hob-nobbed exclusively with those in poverty and distress.
If you’d like to pursue similar pelts (for not much gelt), Society of St. Vincent de Paul thrift store, 444 Franklin Street, Framingham, MA 01702, Phone: 508-879-7873, Hours Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm; Sunday: 11am-5pm
— Crofton Bergheister