1. A few years ago, I had a chance to buy a piece of Gene Wilder's art. Did you know he painted?
  2. Maybe he didn't. Maybe he painted only one piece for this charity auction in which I was able to acquire three pieces of art for fifty dollars each.
  3. I'm not really sure—but I do know that the older I get, the more it seems people are leaving before I'm ready. I would like if we all just left at once, together.
  4. The day I bought my Gene Wilder painting, I stared at a grid of around 100 original works and chose whatever caught my eye.
  5. Every piece was the same price.
  6. The only catch: Each artist signed the *back* of his or her painting, not the front. And you weren't allowed to peek. When you purchased a work, you were buying it because you liked it, not because it was created by a well-known artist or "famous person."
  7. This has become my favorite way to purchase art: art for art's sake.
  8. That night, I walked away with three works. One a beautiful landscape by a local artist. One an icon by a fairly well-known expressionist painter who has since become the GOP's artist-of-choice (what!? 😱) and contributes occasional commentary on Fox News. So I hear.
  9. And one was a quirky little watercolor of a basket of flowers. It is simple. And intimate. And seemed earnest. Or—-something.
  10. Artist: Gene Wilder.
  11. Painted at the zenith of the year, in what may have been one of his last best years.
  12. "Friendly Flowers."
  13. Thank you, Gene Wilder.