“Angels Are Everywhere” 30″ x 40″ Acrylic on Canvas…
“Life is Pure Adventure and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life like Art” Maya Angelou
Over the many years I’ve been painting, I have experienced many gratifying affirmations that my work has touched people. An Artist of any kind be it a writer, musician, sculptor or painter basically works in solitude. Hours of solitude, it is from this place that the Soul Voice is heard and with a careful ear be brought to the surface as a book, statue, melody or painting. When we let our creations go out into the world sometimes amazing things occur…
Here is my list of Top 5 ways to make an Artist’s heart soar…
#1… Buy a painting.
So simple, yet it doesn’t happen everyday. The experience of picking up the phone or opening up an email from a gallery with the news that a painting sold is wonderful. The knowledge that other souls were moved enough by my work to put money down and hang the piece in there home… Wonderful!
#2… Buy a painting, with a purpose.
Years ago I made a series of small heart paintings they were very colorful and measured from 6 to 12 inches square. My gallery in Denver called me to say that a woman had just bought 8 of my heart pieces for her mother. Her mother had seen these pieces a year ago. She was in hospital with terminal cancer. The daughter had bought them to cheer up the hospital room… Magic!
#3… Buy a painting, to inspire your kids.
I recently was traveling through Salt Lake City and made contact with a family who had bought a painting of mine a couple of years ago. They invited my wife and I to stop by and see the painting and their new home. They were so proud to show me the location of my piece, across from the kitchen. “We see it everyday” they said. They then toured us through their house and proudly showed me the rest of their Art collection; at least 6 huge crazy/wonderful canvasses that the family had created inspired by my piece and my Youtube videos. Kids painting and not staring like zombies like into to an iPad. The Stotts Family inspired by my works… Awesome!
#4… Buy a painting, and drop me a line.
A couple from Texas sent me a card, a real card that comes in the mail, with a stamp. They had visited my gallery in Monterey, California and bought two paintings. They were kind enough to take the time to buy a nice card and write a beautiful note to let me know that had never bought original art before and they could not leave California without them… Divine.
#5… Buy a painting, save an artist.
In 2011 the art gallery business had been devastated by the economic conditions. That year three of my top galleries had closed for various reasons. The best selling gallery was about to be visited by the IRS to seize everything because the owner had not paid taxes in years. I had 24 paintings there on consignment that would have been snapped up and probably lost forever. The gallery manager kindly warned me that I had three days to collect them. It was the worst possible time for me financially. I dropped everything and drove two days to Monterey, slept in my vehicle, picked up the work just in time. On my way back I called a person on the list of prior buyers. Carla & Ginny invited me to stop by, poured my frazzled soul a big glass of wine. I told them the story, they asked to see what I had and proceeded to buy 6 paintings. Hope and Faith Restored I drove home feeling less victimized by the economy and more victorious… Grateful…
Maybe its just the reality of being an Artist in North America, where the vast majority of people are glued to their iPhones or big screen TVs like the messages of God Almighty are ready to blast through their devices with Manna from Heaven at any moment. But over the last 18 years of painting, I’ve developed a list of the 5 most common and to an Artist, most annoying questions that seems like everyone asks when the conversation first switches over to “Oh, you’re an Artist!”
#1… How long does it take for you to make one of those paintings?
The answer I give is “All my life”…Thousands of hours and countless dollars on supplies to get to a point that I can create a painting in hours. I guess it looks too easy…Not!
#2… Do you know this artist that we have on the wall? He’s from Seattle!…
“No! ” And I’d really love to say…”I am not interested in any other Artist that you know, or your sister knows.” Unless it’s Kandinsky or Renoir, your own work or my work you want to talk about…forget it, I’m not here to justify others work.
#3… I guess your work will be more valuable when you die?…
“Huh, Ya I guess so… Who cares about dying, I’m truly living when I paint and thats all that matters. The rest is up to God and History.”
#4… When I meet with Old friends, neighbors or acquaintances. They often ask are you still painting? Probably hoping the answer is no, I gave it up it was a whim, what was i thinking? a fad, I failed…
My answer I give now is “I haven’t given up breathing, so I guess I’m still painting.”
#5… Is a common question I get from Galleries…Love, your colors. Do, you do landscapes?
My answer is “they are landscapes, I paint the landscapes of my interior world, my reality and how I see life in it’s finest.”
I always enjoyed eating Blackberries…We would collect them at our local park when the kids were small…my son called them “Baboos”, don’t ask me why he was 3 years old. We still call them “Baboos” for about a four week period. Really, the month of August is Baboo season. It’s all about blackberries. It’s the only time of the year that I enjoy being close to these vines. Seriously, our property, much like anywhere in Washington state is overrun with “Rubus Armeniacus”…Himalayan Blackberries. If I were to stop fighting them back during the winter and spring months and suddenly lay down in my field, having suffered a stroke or a heart attack from the battle. By summer my corpse or skeleton would be forgotten, lost and completely buried by the vines. In our climate they grow 6-9 feet a year. The front five acres of our property has a hundred year old farmhouse that contains untold mysteries, garbage and treasures beneath an awe inspiring growth of Blackberries. That battle looms large for another day. But, it’s August now and as I walk my dogs every morning and grab handfuls of berries to stuff in my mouth. As I enjoy the consecutive pieces of Blackberry pie after dinner, I can’t help feeling grateful. The sun is shining on me, the dogs are happy and I’m chowing down on this amazing fruit.
I looked up the health benefits of Blackberries the other night. It’s astounding, from what I’ve read, if a human ate two cups of Blackeberries everyday all our problems would be solved, health wise. Its weird and probably has a spiritual parallel with many things in life, that something so thorny, aggressive, aggravating, obtrusive, intrusive, destructive can for a short time in our life be so beneficial and good. We’ve got tons of Blackberries on our property and at this time of year I can only feel blessed…