Through my work I’ve been exposed to things I’d never have guessed at in my formative years. I’ve gone to bookselling tradeshows and met some of my favorite authors, leaving with bags and bags of free books, many of them autographed (squee!). I’ve had my portrait photographed with my twin sister for being local filmmakers, as part of a local artist series that was purchased and donated to our Museum of Arts and Culture. And, most recently, my husband and I were able to attend the 25th annual Works from the Heart art auction last night, thanks to my boss sponsoring a table there. Of course, we wouldn’t be able to bid on anything (I wish) but it was a fun reason to dress up, taste some new fancy foods, and chat with the artists I work with at someplace other than the gallery.

There were some truly stunning pieces there. I decided that I would imagine I had more in my wallet than a punch card to Taco del Mar and choose the five pieces that, in an alternate universe, would be mine.

No.5   “White Trail Road” by Kim Wheaton

I had never seen Kim Wheaton’s work before, but this painting was so beautiful in its simplicity, I felt that I could merely glance at it and feel at peace.

No.4   “Garden Tree” by Mason McCuddin

Mason McCuddin won me over with his “Yellow Brick Road” hanging sculpture last August, and “Garden Tree” didn’t disappoint. A photo can’t do it justice, because the motion of the piece and how it changes from each angle are part of the charm.

No.3   “Country Charmer” by Dean Davis

Though I’m not usually a fan of photography printed on canvas, it did seem to add something to this moody print. In fact, it seemed like you could just fall into the canvas.

No. 2   “In the Grass” by Dara Harvey

Dara Harvey’s whimsical paintings always delight me, but this is my favorite of hers so far, though I may be biased by the subject matter.

No. 1   “Chardonnay” by E. L. Stewart

Elsie Stewart’s painting was my favorite of the evening, no question. Her layers of color, varied texture, and unique composition were masterfully done, and the subject matter is timeless. I must be content to lock the image in my memory, as I’m sure it found a home last night.

We didn’t stay for the live auction (I could only torture my husband for so long), but the quality of art and the amount of wine being consumed promised that it would be a successful fundraiser for the museum. Though I left without any art, I had tasted my first caviar and hadn’t spilled anything on the dress I borrowed from my sister, so I count the night as a success.