Sunday, August 16, 2015

"Pulling Up... In Just The "Nick" Of Time!"

The feeling is enough to give one vertigo!
I always enjoy promoting the art of, what I consider to be, great American illustrators. If you've been around me and Facebook all these many years, you've probably noticed that I enjoy posting and writing about past illustrators that have touched my life in so many ways. Jack Leynnwood, Craig Nelson, Leo Monahan, Mike Machat, Bill Robles, Chris Hopkins, Bart Forbes, Mark English, Keith Farris, Barron Storey, Bob Rodriguez and many, many others have been subjects of my blogs. 
Another one of those greats, is aviation artist, Nixon Galloway. On a C-141 flight to DC, Nick asked me if I was interested in a collection of his watercolor prints from his client, United Airlines. I received the entire collection, except on of his award winning paintings entitled, "Barnstorming".
About six months ago, I got a call from Alyce Heath from the SILA office. She had a professor and professional musician, who teaches at the University of Colorado in Boulder, interested in using one of Nick's paintings for his cd cover. He actually saw the piece googling barnstormers and landed on my "Graphic Gumbo 3" site where for months I was highlighting, in a low rez, all the printed works of Nick Galloway and reposting them on our Air Force Art site... just to keep the site active.
Say what you will about those tree hugging, dope smoking "liberals" there in Boulder, but the professor, Mark Rush, knew and respected the sanctity of the copyright law to track me down to receive permission to use Nick's piece. Problem now was twofold. To find the digital artwork that I had which would be useful enough to sell, and to find someone who could receive the fee for the usage of the piece. After a few old phone numbers, I was able to get Nick's wife contact info from Nanette O'Neal at ASAA (American Society of Aviation Artists ) and had a nice conversation with Marilyn Galloway. She was familiar with,"Barnstorming" but told me that she hadn't received any money from the many galleries that supposedly are housing Nick's prints. Sad...
So, I called some of those places only to realize that they wanted their "cut " of the action. Now, I was also the employ of Mark Rush, who was just trying to do the right thing. Through some emails and some phone calls, we settled on a price that was amenable for both parties. I told him that I had a digital print at 300 dpi and that unless he wanted to pay more at a gallery for a print, this scan should suffice. ( Which also brings to mind, the problem of usage. That is, if you own an artist's painting or print, do you have the right to reuse it for profit, like using it for tee shirts, coffee mugs, light switch and electrical covers, posters, labels, or whatever! ) I spoke to his designer and was assured that the scan I had would work beautifully.
I called Mark to assure him that the check would go straight to Mrs. Galloway and I would send him a receipt for the transaction.
Well, life always seems to get in the way of living.
I received the check about two months ago, and it sat in my computer bag for that amount of time. But, just yesterday, while my client was away for half of the day, I decided to take care of this excursion by calling Mrs. Galloway and telling her the whole story. She seemed really grateful and wanted to know if I wanted a share of the check. 
"No, Marilyn, I said, "this warm, fuzzy feeling is worth all the money in the world, right now!" 
We talked some more about the past good times with the Air Force Art Program and the many great trips Nick was privy to, and the great art that came from it. It seemed to me that she was in need of some company and wanted to spend more time chatting. But, after thirty minutes on the phone, I was a bit anxious that my client, who, by now, had returned, would not look favorably on my phone distraction.
"Hey Marilyn, it was great talking to you. Take the money and party at some Manhattan Beach restaurant with some of your pals... or, pay bills. The checks in the mail, lady!"

Copyright 2015/Ben Bensen III