People Are Funny About Art


One brush stroke out of a few thousand cost me the sale of a painting. In the gallery, under their lighting, one brush stroke caught the light just so revealing itself to all who looked at that painting. In the studio I could not see it but in the gallery it spoiled the smooth look of the sky. 

You never know what little thing can put a perspective buyer off. Horses in a field stop a collector because the husband is afraid horses, they loved the painting - till I informed them the “cows” were really horses. A salesperson in a gallery would not even show one of my figurative pieces because the model had one foot on the floor, the other up on the sofa she was sitting on. Even though she had a full length skirt on the sales lady said ladies don't sit like that. I had to send it to another gallery. A friend exhibited a tasteful nude and lost several of his collectors, one of whom put all her paintings of his on sale for half the price she paid for them. People are funny about art. 

Letters to the editors of art magazine are quite interesting at times. A western collector was disappointed because the magazine he subscribed to published a picture of a painting in which cattle were grazing on the wrong side of hill. Another letter from an art teacher in LA who was stopping her subscription to an artist magazine because the portrait they put on their cover was just part of a painting which was a nude by Nelson Shanks. This teacher was objecting, not because they only showed the head from this nude, but because to show any part of this painting was wrong. She objected to all nudes. 

Great art can be sent to an artists closet for a number of reasons. Once a collector I knew had too many paintings. In her closet were two by Fechin.

I Have Given My All


"Every great artist has a closet full of bad paintings," is a post I saw on Facebook. I reposted it without thinking about it. It should be "Every great artist has a closet full of paintings." We think every great artist sells every painting they do, which is far from the truth. I exhibited in a gallery with a biggie, a real biggie, and for several years whenever I went to the gallery I saw the same old paintings. Twenty years later I saw those same paintings at a different gallery. Even the greats have great paintings that do not sell. My attic is full of paintings, I'm in the process of filling Jordan, my managers house, with paintings. I've also sold paintings that were not my best. To me they were not my best, but to the person adopting them they were.

I have been using the idea of paintings being adopted instead of sold because they are my children, good or bad, and the people adopting are deciding to live their lives with my paintings. Every day they will have to look at my painting and be cheered up by them, I hope. These days people downsize, and my paintings maybe ones that are sent out into the world on their own. I won't be around to speak up for them, but I know they will be OK because I have given my all to each and every one of them. I send them out with good composition and design, good coloring and good drawing behind them, helping them to survive. 

Those in my attic just haven't been found by their true owner. Jordan and Adrienne will have to aid them on their way. My job is bringing them to life and seeing they get all they need, seeing there are no imperfections to stop a perspective owner from making the commitment of adoption.