I have been musing over the relationship between artists and collectors recently. Perhaps it is a result of my participation in Art Walk 2013 in Lake Country this year. Hosting my booth and attempting to interact with as many of the 7,000 visitors as possible gave me plenty of opportunities to observe and consider the role my collectors play in my development as an artist.
An artist derives much of his/her confidence and joy from the process and realization of making their art. Solitude and isolation are often necessary and desirable if one is to nurture and harvest their art. Eventually the artist will present some finished work to an educated and critical community of fellow artists and also to the greater public. Positive criticism and awards from your contemporaries validates you and all your effort seems worthwhile. Most often an artists peers are considering the painters technical ability and their artistic vision ( or how he/she executes that vision).
That is satisfying to a point but an artist is really expressing a point of view, a feeling or a dream that they hope will resonate in the heart/mind of another human. Something beyond the academic.
Enter the collector. These are the essential ones who see an offering of art, are pulled in by it and some kind of intangible connection is born. These are the ones who walk into your space that is full of a variety of art and they stride directly towards a particular piece as if guided by a tractor beam. They usually wander away from it and examine other paintings by you or perhaps other artists but if a connection has been made with a particular piece they will return to it.
Of course not all those who connect with your work find it convenient nor possible to purchase it. But your collectors do find a way. This relationship is hugely validating to the artist, the realization that someone is willing to part with hard earned money and take one of your works into their home to make their own.
The opportunity to observe and interact with such a large number of people at this recent event gave me some insights regarding collectors.
They don't need to be "sold". If the artwork is presented with decent lighting and in a reasonable location (they may not want to lay on the floor to see it) they seem to discover it on their own. Most collectors seem to form a connection on their own and after that initial bonding they may be interested in some of the back story.
So I am indebted to my collectors, most recently Trish and George, Sheldon, Alice and Chuck, Jim and Marietta. You and all my other essential collectors play a massive role in the realization of my dream to live as a full time painter and to hopefully grow into an artist. Thank You!!
As the days shorten on "My Tribe" residing at the Penticton Art Gallery I thought I would share a great panaview shot my buddy Lyle put together. I think it gives you a good idea of the display that Paul and Glen came up with.
There will be a couple of videos forthcoming about this exhibition. I will post them soon.
I have been asked to teach a workshop to the Naramata painters group this October. They have asked me to help them explore ways to painting more "loosely" or expressively. There is no room for any more participants in this workshop but if there is interest in this subject I would be happy to take on another group in the spring.
Until next time, have a great autumn!