Always a sucker for local art (my walls are testament to that), since making the unexpected switch from the corporate world to self-employment a while back, I have necessarily had to curb my art purchases, although I can't seem to stop entirely.
And I don't have to when I continue to discover local artists willing to share their talent for a pittance. Such was the case when I finally saw the excellent Donald Schrader show at Chop Suey Books.
I'd met a couple at a wine tasting recently and, as friends of Schrader's, they'd turned me on to his small-scale comic-style paintings, which sounded like something I might want to live with.
People who have been around Richmond for a while seem to remember Schrader when he was doing comic strips for ThroTTle, but I didn't. That only made the pleasure greater when I walked into Chop Suey's little gallery and experienced the full effect of so many small works, all in a very retro comic book style.
The paintings use limited colors and simple geometric shapes, but despite such minimalism, they are abuzz with activity. Musicians play, people dance, artists paint and mice scurry.
With titles like "Smile Podner," "Suits No Zoots" and "Britches Too Big," you get a sense of Schrader's sense of old-fashioned humor. And if you didn't know better, you'd swear these were vintage 1920-30s comics, simple and full of movement.
Best of all, prices started at $10 and topped out at $50, with the bulk of them in the $20-$30 range. Now that's art for a recessionista's budget.
If I were to have bought something, I mean. Ahem.