Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Famous San Franciscans

Don Sherwood was a popular early radio talk show host. He was intrigued when he agreed I could come and paint while he was broadcasting. I was nervous and packed the car the night before I had to begin. His program began at 5AM. I left home in the dark, and worried all the way to the city. How would I get the palette, my brushes, the canvas, my small easel and my purse from the car to the building into the elevator. When I arrived I found out I had to sit in a small glass booth next to a larger glass booth where Don was to broadcast. Not the best of arrangements for there were many reflections in the glass. I could hear him as if there was no glass separating us and in the middle of the hours I was there he suddenly introduced me to his audience. He was a very amusing and quite handsome person. He did not sit still for a second. I found out early that this portrait was not going to succeed. I thanked him profusely for having agreed to let me try.

I saved the painting in our garage and a couple of years later someone asked me to enter a juried show in Walnut Creek. I repainted Don Sherwood's eyes and made them into small, small raisin like eyes. I signed the painting and my entry
NEEK RETLAW. The painting was accepted for the show and when Herb Caen told about the joke there were many more visitors to the Art Exhibit. WALTER KEEN was famed for his paintings of little children with huge eyes. O rather, Walter Keen was famous for the paintings his wife painted of children.

By the way, a commenter on my last blog, asked if the sharpshooter was Annie Oakley. No. My sharpshooter was often on the same stage as Annie Oakley. My friend's married name was Semmelmeier. We all knew her public name from the newspaper articles from the Chicago papers, but I forget.

1 comment:

musingegret said...

I was unaware of the controversy and lawsuit surrounding those big-eyed children paintings. Your post sent me scurrying (figuratively) to research the saga of the Keane's. Thank you for increasing my knowledge today!