Those who have been following artist Dan Wetta’s posts here, on Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook and other social media sites know that my actively-engaged 87-year-old father is trying to place his life’s collection of art in a gallery, museum, or with a private collector. These include hundreds of paintings and cartoons. This collection and the stories behind them have been published in a seven e-book series (El Artista: A Lifetime of Curiosity) and in three beautiful books in print. (Two are published and are currently selling. The third book will be available within the next couple of weeks.)
The artist through the years has retained or reacquired or documented almost all the works of his life. So to discover missing paintings now has become an event of excitement in our family.
Recently a talented young member of the family came forth with a poem entitled “The Blue Forest,” which she said she had named after a painting of the same title, a painting which she had inherited upon the death of my father’s sister, Joan. She is Megan Wetta, a recent college graduate, and herself talented in art and writing. I will soon be publishing this poem along with several others of hers, and the beautiful painting is displayed in my father’s to-be-published third book in print: An Artist’s World, Lighter Days. When Megan first sent me a photo of this painting, I immediately recognized it as the handiwork of my dad.
That was exciting, but a big surprise occurred when I recently began to clean and organize my attic. We have been in our house twenty years, and in the attic I found three paintings and a charcoal drawing done by the artist in the late 1950s and 1960s. The charcoal sketch was of me when I was about 10 years old. There was a painting of my younger brother, Stephen, when he was about 8. But the treasures were two paintings done in oil by the artist. These were rare because he abandoned oil painting around 1969. One of them, “The White Tree and Stream,” is an imaginary scene, but is based on a creek in woods that were behind the house that my brother and I grew up in. These woods and the creek were an essential part of the playground of the childhoods of Stephen and me. The woods made it into his novel, If Jack’s In Love, and it also was a backdrop for a chapter in my first novel, The Z Redemption.
The other oil painting dates from 1969, and it is a real scene that my father painted. The artist cannot remember exactly where in Henrico County, Virginia the bridge was located, but he surmises that the old country road near it is long gone. This painting, along with the other, was found in time to be included in the artist’s third print book.
Clicking any of the photos above will open a window to artist Dan Wetta’s web page. If you would like to see a collection of his art that appears in his books, click this link to his collection on Google Plus: Click here to go to Google Plus Collection.