I suffer from both “stop-in-itis” and “neverget- around-to-it” syndromes.

The former means as I journey around the state, I am constantly spotting places I want to “stop in” but cannot take the time at that moment. That usually results in the next syndrome.

Landscape artist Joseph Orr’s studio and gallery at Osage Beach is one of the places I’ve always wanted to stop. I’ve admired his work for many years. So, when Joe rode along with his friend Bob Schwartz, who visited our offices to help with a special project, I enjoyed meeting him and resolved to finally get around to it.

Rather than stopping by, I wanted to be sure the “artist is in” sign I’d noticed in previous trips was up, so I phoned to make sure. My husband Greg came with me, and we enjoyed conversation and lunch on Joe and his wife’s patio.

Both of them are witty, warm, and gracious. Best of all, I discovered Rita’s art. I knew Joe’s wife was also an artist but wasn’t familiar with her work. I guess my eye always gravitates to landscapes.

Rita has a winsome and whimsical series of silkscreens featuring ladies wearing hats, including Lap of Luxury above, and another colorful series of buildings she has seen, such as bungalows, cozy homes, and others.

When we first saw Rita’s hat ladies, Greg and I simultaneously started saying something like, “Marissa would love that lady in the hat.” Our daughter and our other two children might get Christmas gifts of artwork from Joe or Rita. Shhh! Don’t tell them.

Another striking coincidence: Rita wrote a story for Missouri Life back in 1975 for Bill Nunn, the magazine’s founder. We’ve posted her article, “My Husband, the Artist,” on our website.

Next time you’re at the Lake of the Ozarks, drive by 1405 Route KK in Osage Beach and see if the artists are in. Read our story about Joe on page 58.

We try to include one artist in every issue of Missouri Life. Art is another way to communicate, as well as the personal expression of the artist. And that’s a view coming from a word nerd.