"Nature is what we know
Yet have not art to say
So impotent our vision is
to her simplicity."
- Emily Dickinson

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Perhaps It Makes Sense Now

Most artists would agree that one of the difficulties of marketing our art is the task of writing the artist statement.  Many are written in a foreign language known as "artspeak" and are impossible to understand.  Many are banal.  Many are boastful.  Finding the best way to state the motivation and techniques for one's making art is quite a process.  My statement contains the following remark:

"I hope the viewer will pause a moment, bringing personal
sensibilities and memories to each subject, and discover therein whether the
spirit of place speaks. I want the viewer to feel a familiarity with the art as
though filtered through a memory."

While I don't paint to please some particular audience, I want viewers of my work to get caught up in and appreciate it.  Recently, I had a wonderful experience that confirmed my belief in what is written in my statement.

In the 1990s, while living on the Georgia coast, I painted a series of lighthouses and made posters from the watercolors.  At that time, photo lithographs were state-of-the-art reproductions and the process just was not archival.  The poster editions were small -- only 180 of each and 10% of every edition went to the lighthouse depicted for their own use or sale.  The rest I sold, mostly to coastal visitors.  This message came through Facebook recently.

"We came to Savannah on holiday in 1999 and bought this print. We love it...but sadly it's now very faded. Any possibility of a replacement still being available? It's a real treasure - great work. It's a memory a lovely holiday my wife and I had around Savannah many years ago."

I dug through an old flat file and found the print they wanted. I was so pleased to be able to ship a print of the St. Simons lighthouse to folks in Cornwall, UK. But the best part is the confirmation that my work was filtered through memory and serves as a reminder of times well spent.

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