Hartley M. Withitt, forty two, noted plein aire painter found himself the center of attention last month when apparently out of the blue, colored spots began to appear on his head and hands during his outdoor painting sessions. At first it was suspected that he was spilling his pigments but a careful check of his equipment put that explanation to rest.
This lead medical art experts to Painters Stigmata, a rare ailment that has afflicted the likes of Vincent Van Gogh, Goya, and of course the famous paint flinger Jackson Pollack. Samples of Mr Withitt’s purple spots wereÂ sent for analysis to esteemed institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chicago Art Institute, Famous Artist School of Minneapolis, and Cheap Joe’s Art Catalog. The consensus among all respondents was this was something close to Dioxazine Violet but the mysterious appearance on Hartley’s body still remained a mystery.
This only fueled the fires of the curious who queued up at the artist’s studio hoping to be touched by the magic bestowed uopn this modest landscape painter. They came from all over with their paintings in hand hoping haveÂ Mr. Withitt dust them with the ethereal enchantment that seems to been gifted to him alone.
Nationally known skeptic Doan B. Leavitt threw a bucket of reality on the apparent phenomenon when heÂ noted that the spots only seemed to appear after the artist would paint under a ripening mulberry tree.
Jen Nettick-Throebach Special Report Faux Art News