Hard to believe but the artists now known as the Highwaymen were brought
to the light of day twenty two years ago at Kissimmee Valley Gallery, the
business Anne and I owned on highway 98 in Sebring.
The painting that accompanies this post was a gift from Jim Crompton, now
deceased , who was a good friend and a very good painter. Jim was very
definitely a starving artist. As long as I knew him he never had the
proverbial pot or the window to throw it out of. In conversation one day he
told me he was thrilled to be a successful artist. That took me by surprise
and I asked him how he defined success. His answer was “ Well, I get to
paint every day.” Jim was autotelic. If you want to know what that means
you’ll have to look it up.
In the early Highwayman years at the Gallery we had a number of pickers
who would bring us paintings from the east coast. One day a lady from St.
Petersburg came in and said she had heard about the Highwaymen and
wanted to buy one of their paintings. On that day there were only three on
display and they were all sold. The lady said “Oh, I like that one” and
pointed to an Alfred Hair. I had to tell her it was sold. She was not used to
being told “no” and with some fear and trembling I had to tell her “no” three
times. She turned to a friend that was with her and said ”What are we doing
here?” The good news is, I sold her a very expensive Robert Butler. That
was in the days when I refused to admit that Robert was a Highwayman.
I am often asked why the Highwaymen became so popular so fast. I know
why but I’m saving it for the next post.