Initially, I paid little attention to the gray bench seat, apparently from a van, slumped on the curb along Kent Street. Then I saw the discarded painting, propped up on a cushion, and realized this could be one of the greatest street finds I’d ever encountered.
To say it’s a painting sells it short. The lake and sky are painted in what appears to be watercolor, but the rest of the piece is constructed of natural materials: bark, wood and moss.
The paper on the back of the painting is stamped with ©Japan, which means these pieces of nature were likely collected in that country. Since there is no artist’s signature, perhaps the artwork was mass produced. Nonetheless, it bears the mark of the individual. Somebody tapped those metal brads into the wooden island, glued the moss and the bark.
I came home, and my husband, Dennis, and I immediately hung it on a living room wall. We shined a lamp on it so we could analyze it more closely.
“You know, it’s kind of sophisticated,” I told him.
“Sophisticated enough for us,” he replied.