Back in ’91, during a visit to Jackson, there happened to be an art fair in the Square, that famous square of antler arches on the corners. I took a fancy to a watercolor painting, a view through desert ruins, and enjoyed a brief chat with the artist, one Russell Steel. He had ventured into his career somewhat late in life, as had a friend of my parents who, upon retirement, became a well-known sculptor, and I relished the chat with Mr. Steel as much as I appreciated his painting. Needless to say, my husband and I bought the painting and took it home to Buckinghamshire, England, where we lived at the time. It was professionally framed and hung in our conservatory for several years until husband and I went our separate ways, I eventually moved to London, and the painting ended up at my home in East Hampton. In East Hampton, it hung in what I tend to call the den or television room. It seemed somewhat out of place there amongst paintings of New York and a map of East Hampton—poor watercolor!
Roll on seventeen more years and I now own this small place in Jackson, and set out to get here by car from East Hampton with my daughter, the framed watercolor in the back. Tonight Russell Steel’s watercolor is back in Jackson, hung above my bed.
Sadly, Mr. Steel, of Durango, CO, passed away in 2010, aged 92. He was listed in “Who’s Who in American Art.’