In the 1970’s my mother-in-law, Misa Fornari, lived on Long Island. A friend of hers was a rep for various artists and crafts people, and at some point she gave Misa a very small painting of a zucchini. It was a sample she had shown to stores and galleries, and she thought that Misa would like it since the painting was of a Zucchini and my mother-in-law was Italian. It kicked around in Misa’s laundry room for awhile, and at some point she gave it to us.
This small oil painting is a charming work of what is frequently called folk art. It was painted by Charles Wehringer, a self-taught artist from Oyster Bay, Long Island. When I googled his name I found similar small paintings of asparagus, carrots and scallions. It is valuable to us, not because the artist is well known or highly collectable, but because my mother-in-law gave it to us, knowing that we grew zucchini and might appreciate it.
Art can push boundaries, make people think, cause us to pause at its beauty, or simply touch our hearts. In other words, art connects us to life itself. I hope that somehow Charles Wehringer knows his work makes me smile.