John found an art gallery called Dragon Gallery. It was in Nyack and it specialized in art and furniture from Asia. We took a bus there to visit it one day. There, we met Chris and Lilly, the owners of the gallery. Chris was a little stocky and Lilly was very slim and had a very friendly smile. They both looked they were in their mid-30s.
I showed them the watercolour paintings I had painted in Ireland and the photos of the paintings that I had just finished at Studio Marino, as well as the series of cartoon-style paintings that I had painted in Paris. Chris showed a particular interest in the cartoon painting with a boy in a Kimono and said it could be sold on its own. They also seemed to be impressed by my watercolour paintings and my new abstract paintings. As John kept explaining to them about me and my work, as well as where I was working right then and my plan for the future work, Chris gave a positive response about doing business with us.
John and I went to see them a few more times in Nyack. One day, Chris said, if we could frame the realistic watercolour paintings, he could hang them in his gallery. And on another day, when Chris wasn’t in the gallery and Lilly was looking after the customers, she mentioned to us that she would like to buy my Derry City painting for Chris’s birthday present. After she left to talk to other customers, John whispered to me that they would buy my paintings and we should frame them.
I wasn’t listening very closely to what Lilly was saying, so I wondered why John felt so sure about her buying my paintings. But I followed his suggestions about what to do next. When I look back, John was very shrewd in his communication and marketing. He was also good at carrying conversations in the directions he wanted and great at guessing what the other person would say next. So, he was prepared with what he would say after. He was the only American person I had dealt with closely, so I was not certain whether this characteristic was typical of New Yorkers, but I did notice many New Yorkers seemed smarter than any other people I had met before. But in this case, the reason John was sure about them purchasing my paintings was that Lilly had previously mentioned it to him by email. I learned that from a copy of the email John gave me a lot later.
We went to the Indian framer again to frame two of my watercolour paintings. I think that another piece that Lilly chose was the Bedroom painting so we decided to frame the Derry City and the Bedroom painting. The framer told me about another artist who had used their simple silver frame for his/her painting and it was sold. So, I chose the same simple frame and, after they were ready, we brought them to Dragon Gallery. They hung them inside the gallery near the main entrance.