Yours Truly: A Patron of the Arts

Many months ago I saw a woman standing on the sidewalk just below my drawbridge tower. She was staring up at it and taking notes. I thought it was kind of strange, but it is a free country, after all. (At least, as of this writing.)

But then she showed up again the next day and curiosity got the better of me. So I opened the tower window and said hello to her. It turned out she was making a sketch in advance of doing a painting of my tower. This got me excited, because I do take pride in my drawbridge. I told her I’d love to see the painting when it was done.

Several months passed and I didn’t see her again. I figured she’d forgotten about me. I was kicking myself for not getting her contact information.

Then a funny thing happened. I went to a storytelling party at a friend’s house and she was there. We didn’t recognize each other until I mentioned my bridge and she mentioned someone calling to her out the window while she was sketching, and I told her that was me. This is a big city, but it’s still a small world.

After that, she e-mailed me photos of the painting as it progressed. And just recently I purchased the finished version. (I paid for it, in part, by giving her a copy of my book.) So, without further ado, here’s the painting of University Bridge here in Seattle, by Arvia Morris.


I love this painting. It has a great deal of personal meaning for me, of course. It’s also the first painting I’ve ever purchased. If I get a chance to publish an anthology of my drawbridge stories, I plan to use this painting on the book cover.

Arvia also did a larger, very gorgeous painting of the entire span of the University Bridge as seen from the water. I’d dearly love to have it, but I can’t afford it. I hope it finds a good home with someone who truly appreciates it.

I’ve always wanted to take painting lessons, but it’s a very expensive skill to acquire. Maybe some day. In the meantime, I’m thrilled to be a patron of the arts!


My book is my art. Claim your copy of A Bridgetender’s View: Notes on Gratitude today and you’ll be supporting StoryCorps too!

6 thoughts on “Yours Truly: A Patron of the Arts

  1. Dear Barb:

    Painting skills are not necessarily expensive to acquire. There are plenty of books and internet guidance on the subject. The rest is practice.

    I love your blog. It’s a daily tonic for me.


    1. Wow, Richard! That’s a very high compliment indeed. Thank you! And yes, you do have a point that the “man hours” aspect of learning to paint gives one opportunities for financial savings, but the supplies aren’t cheap, unfortunately. Some day… Keep reading! Hope you’ll chime in with more comments, too!

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