Viggo Mortensen — Will You Drop By?

Even when he’s irritated, I’m sure that Viggo does not look like this when he’s buying stamps at the Sandpoint, ID post office.

You won’t believe this, but yesterday I spoke with someone who knows someone who knows Viggo Mortensen’s (Aragorn, son of Arathorn, from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy) brother.

The Norwegian Artist and I were in Sandpoint, Idaho, having driven 4 hours in the rain to deliver paintings for the Norwegian’s solo show, and as the gallery assistant and I were discussing the area’s attractions, Viggo came up. Apparently, he lives there, sort of.

I mean, I would live there, sort of, if I could — trees, mountains, alpine lakes, cute downtown — but our second home is, well, we don’t have one, and if we did it’d be an awful hassle transporting the three goats back and forth in a Honda Fit. It was enough packing 30 paintings in there, and they don’t create little black pellets that look like chocolate covered raisins. They also don’t chew the seats.

Yes, we fit 30 fairly good sized paintings, like this one, in a Honda Fit. She Danced by the Light of the Moon, original painting through Steve Henderson Fine Art; licensed open edition fine art print through Great Big Canvas

But Viggo escapes to Sandpoint, which may seem surprising if your impression of a small town is that everyone knows everyone — which is true, actually — and has nothing better to do than hound famous faces — which is not.

While in our little town, we’re still talking about Matthew Fox (Jack on Lost) dropping by to hunt deer, we’re just as passionately discussing our brand new, great big, genuine hotel that looks like a hotel and even has a covered swimming pool. I mean, you’ve got to put these things in perspective.

Of course we’re nosy — all people are. But we’re nosy about everyone, regardless of whether we’ve seen their face 15 feet high on a movie screen, and we spend as much time giving one another space to breathe as we do talking to, and about them. After all, most of us live in small towns not because of the incredible employment opportunities, but because we can live quietly, independently, and with a greater level of intellectual freedom — really — than we could in a large, impersonal, but intrusive metropolis.

In a small town, there is time to think, dream, reflect, and jump in puddles. Reflection, original at Steve Henderson Fine Art; licensed open edition fine art print at Great Big Canvas

Rural America is a beautiful place because there is space, silence, and that aforementioned freedom to live independently — keeping chickens, growing a garden, milking goats, and planting organic heirloom corn that is not genetically modified. Because we do these things, and we see the value of doing them, we are wary of others — politicians and mega-corporations come to mind — telling us what to eat, influencing our procreation habits, insisting that we obtain this latest vaccination, peering into our gardens to see what’s growing there, manipulating the free market to limit which light bulbs are available to use in our kerosene lamps.

And because we live more closely to the ground, so to speak, we treasure what we have, not the least of which is our privacy. It’s easy to forget that our national heritage is deeply steeped in individual people and families fighting the elements and reaching for a dream, and while we work collectively as a community, we do so while maintaining our independence. Independence is so important to our personality as Americans that our national holiday features the word prominently in its name. This spirit of independence is what made us great in the first place. It’s what will knock us down and out if we lose it.

So Viggo, as much as I would appreciate it if you would drop by (Redtail Gallery: June 21 – July 13; reception June 28 from 5:30 to 7:30) and look at Steve’s art, I understand your reticence. I assure you, we’ll treat you like everyone else, giving you plenty of space to look at the paintings, eat crackers, and chat if you are so inclined.

In rural America, we do things our way. I Do It My Way poster, based upon the original painting Cadence, by Steve Henderson.

Whether or not you’re Viggo Mortensen, if you can’t make it to the show, you can find Steve Henderson’s art in the following venues:

Manufacturers and retailers, license Steve’s art through Art Licensing.

This article is linked to Living Well Spending Less, A Life in Balance, A Peek into my ParadiseHappy and Blessed Home, Little House in the Suburbs, Our Heritage of Health, Life as We Know It, The Thriftiness Miss, Let This Mind Be in You, Friday Flash Blog, Oh So Amelia, The Chicken Chick, Nourishing Joy, Natural Living Mamma, Butter Believer, Mom’s the Word, The Better Mom, The Prairie Homestead, A Blossoming Life, Real Food Forager, Healthy Roots Happy Soul, A Humble Bumble, Adventures of a DIY Mom, Be Simply Better, Holistic Squid, Mama BZZ

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10 Responses

  1. Oh yes, I get it! We have a couple of HUGE name celebrities in our little town, and very few of us have seen either one. One bought one of my paintings a few months ago – it was thrill for me, not because it was Anjelica Huston, but because a painting sold to a stranger. YES! She bought it because she liked it, not because we are friends or family and she felt sorry for me.

    Celebrity or peon, our money is all the same color of green.

    May The Norwegian kick some fanny with this show!

    p.s. I’ve been to Sandpoint. We were visiting my uncle in St. Maries, and I was simply thrilled beyond words to learn that the original Coldwater Creek store was a mere 1-2 hours away.

    And if you have the pleasure of meeting my friend Diana Moses Botkin at the gallery, please give her a hug from me!

    1. Hi Jana — those huge names are hidden all throughout the country, I imagine, and if the town is small enough, we all know that they’re there. Congratulations on your painting sale, and I am sure that Ms. Huston looks at her purchase with joy and enjoyment.

      Coldwater Creek is near, or in Sandpoint? I’ll have to check that out. The Norwegian Artist and I enjoyed a tremendously excellent Thai dinner there at Secret Thai, which our source said was the place to go. How right she was! We went wild and chose three stars of hotness out of four, and the owner graciously brought us a full pitcher of cold water.

      I will ask about your friend Diana — a relative as well as a friend? My keen powers of observation can’t help but notice a similarity of name.

      1. Coldwater Creek began in a covered bridge in Sandpoint! I think their main store is now in Coeur d’Alene. It was so very beautiful; the rooms were arranged by color. Almost everything I’ve ever bought from them I still own (or maybe a friend or sister has it now because I got tired of it because it wouldn’t wear out).

        And Diana and I tried to find a connection but finally accepted the reality that we simply married unrelated men who have the same last name. She shows and sells regularly in Sandpoint, so there is a good chance she will be around. In fact, I’ll email her and invite her to Steve’s show!

        Don’t you just love the internet? 😎

        And, I am loving your latest book – when I finish, I’ll review it on amazon for you.

        1. Jana — I’m glad you’re e-mailing Diana; we’ll look for her at the show. So even though you’re not related, you have the same last name, so it will sort of be like seeing you in person. Sort of.

          I’m glad you like the book — thank you for buying it and reading it, and yes, I would be ecstatic for a review by you, of the book, on Amazon. Thank you! And I know that you’ll pass on the information about it to others; you are so good about that. I appreciate your encouragement, support, kind words, and friendship — some day, we meet in person!

  2. Linda

    Oh my God!!!!! Those paintings are beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the colors. I haven’t even finished reading your post. I just started looking at the paintings. I wish I could paint like that.

    1. Thank you, Linda, for the kind words. The paintings are by Steve Henderson, my Norwegian Artist, and I will not dispute that they are superb. He has a good eye for color and emotion, and it is a privilege living with the man and seeing what next comes off the easel. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that you can find his work directly, as originals or signed limited edition prints, at Steve Henderson Fine Art and his licensed, open edition work at Great Big Canvas Because he is an independent artist, selling his work directly through his website, Steve is always grateful when people pass his name and information on to friends, family, and colleagues.

      Steve teaches workshops and private lessons, and the main thing he tells his student is twofold: 1) get grounded in the basics and 2) paint paint paint. Every artist has his gift within himself, but must take time and effort to draw it out. Once you have the basics, then you have what you need to develop your potential, and while at the end, you won’t paint like Steve, you will, more importantly, paint like yourself, with your own style based upon who and what you are.

      Thank you again for your kind words — and I hope that you have an opportunity to finish the article! — Carolyn

  3. Oh my gosh! Thank you for sharing this post. I’m a nature girl, who is concerned that people of all ages seem to be losing contact with nature. I’m sure you’re familiar with the book, Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv; but have you seem Thomas Locker’s nature inspired picture books? They’re the perfect literacy tool for sparking an interest in nature in children, and people of all ages, really! Water Dance is one of my favorites.

    1. Dawn: People are losing connection with much that is real — nature, face to face communication, cooking, reading, lying on the ground and watching the clouds go by. We live, and yet we don’t live. But, bit by bit, some people seem to be waking up, realizing that life is short, short indeed, and if they spend all their time pressing buttons on phones and staying late at work, it will pass them by too quickly. — Carolyn

  4. We have a nephew who is best friends with a famous celebrity. This celebrity attended his wedding (was the best man) and he just tried to be low key and let the focus be on the bride and groom, which I thought was very sweet and very appropriate. We, in turn, did not make a big deal of his being there either!

    Thanks for linking up to “Making Your Home Sing Monday!”

    1. How gracious, and humble, of the celebrity to give the day to the bride and groom, and willingly take the subordinate part. It’s one that so many of us take every day of our lives, and it takes much strength to not grab the limelight and bask. It was gracious, and wise, of you as well to honor the celebrity by treating him as another real, ordinary person.

      Thank you for allowing me to link to your blog carnival. I am honored to be able to do so.

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