Above: Andrè Petty and his son Henry with his original painting of “Danger Zone,” which graces the cover of this issue
You can tell a lot about people by the way they treat their pets. As if Andrè Petty was not friendly enough, it’s clear he treats his pets very well. In the midst of his interview for this issue, the family cat joined the proceedings, as Mae Gilliland Wright recalls:
“‘That's Cali,’ Andrè said. She curled up near us and slept the rest of the time, only jumping up when we went down to his studio in the basement. When Andrè turned on a spotlight, Cali curled up in front of it. He told me that she and the dog love to warm up in front of the lights while he paints.”
It had snowed quite a bit the night before, so Andrè’s son Henry was home for a snow day. “When I got to the house, he confidently sat down next to me. He seemed at ease and clearly knew a lot about his father’s work,” Mae explains.
Andrè: Henry says we might not be able to do any art fairs anymore because we did that one [in Peoria Heights] and it rained. And then we got in the Peoria Art Guild Fine Art Fair... and monsoon rain! He said, ‘Every time we do this, it rains.’
Mae: Maybe give it one more try?
Andrè: One more try, exactly.
Henry: Please, no!
Surrounded by Andrè’s artwork, Mae noticed a vibrant painting of a young boy. It was Henry, painted when he was about a year old. “I thought it would be a striking cover, so I asked if I could take a picture of it,” she explains.
When I saw that image, I knew we had found our cover. The artist was overjoyed, genuinely surprised and incredibly humble. I find that his good nature, positivity and overall contentment simply leap from his brilliant paintings. A world of color, indeed.
—Jonathan Wright, Editor In Chief