Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks

Work in Progress
Sunset Stream 30 x30

Here is one of the pieces I am working on now. The under painting was posted here. Now, the sky has been laid in and an initial color glazed over the foreground. Still many painting sessions to go on this one.

Yesterday I spent a good portion of the day writing and sending my holiday studio newsletter. After it went out I received a number of emails and a few phone calls from other artists and collectors. One conversation in particular reminded me of the power of art to connect perfect strangers and made me grateful for my role in that process. I had never spoken with this person-let's call him Bill- before, but he is a regular reader of my blog. He told me a bit about himself and his passion for collecting art. His tastes and his collection cover a wide range - he clearly just loves art.

Its easy in an economy such as this one to let the question "will this sell?", or worse, "what can I paint that will sell?", creep into the studio. Talking with Bill yesterday, I was reminded of this quote from The Writing Life by Annie Dillard:

...the more literary the book-the more purely verbal, crafted sentence by sentence, the more imaginative, reasoned,and deep-the more likely people are to read it. The people who read are the people who like literature, after all...I cannot imagine a sorrier pursuit than struggling for years to write a book that attempts to appeal to people who do not read in the first place.

And so it is with painting. The more passion for your craft and your subject you put into your work, the more likely it is that people like Bill- people who love art- will find your work. Nothing you do can make someone who does not care about art -or about your kind of art, care about your work. But the people who do, are the ones with whom you have a bond, a shared passion and to whom you owe thanks and the responsibility to make the best work you are capable of. So, thank you Bill.


Stacey Peterson said...

Great point Deborah - the people who really collect art still want to see GOOD art, and that's what we should be aiming for. Good reminder to not be worrying about what will "sell", no matter what the economy may look like =)

Casey Klahn said...

I concur. Happy Thanksgiving!

Deborah Paris said...

Hi Stacey. Yes, our collectors deserve our best, that's for sure!

Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Casey!

Robin Pedrero said...

I absolutely LOVE~ this piece!

Deborah Paris said...

Thank you Robin and thanks for visiting!

Dean H. said...

Beautiful painting. Very meaningful writing..very, very true.


Suzanne McDermott said...

Here, here! So true and valuable to be reminded of. Thanks! Oh - Love the color you have going in the sky.

Don Gray said...

Beautifully put, Deborah. And I love Annie Dillard.

Trevor Lingard said...

This is all good reading and inspiring
Kind Regards
ps I am new to blogging and not quite sure of the protocol.

Deborah Paris said...

Thank you Dean- Merry Christmas!

Thanks Suzanne- hope you are having a wonderful holiday season so far!

Thank you Don. Dillard has been a favorite of mine ever since Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. I think what she writes is just as relevant for visual artists as it is for writers.Merry Christmas!

Hi Trevor. Thank you very much and welcome!

p said...

hey thanks for visiting and the well sales last night but no one expected it. met some cool people who i will blog about later.
nice work...and i agree with the art/will it sell etc. stuff.
i keep thinking this is the time to keep pushing through and make more, make better...dont stop for nuthin!
hope the frame shop gets some holiday surge!

Adam Cope said...

Hello Deborah

Good point, which I sometimes translate as 'People want my best paintings' tho' it really means 'some people want my best paintings' which has the add-on 'don't worry too much about those people who don't want my best paintings'.

Nice blog. I know this when the artist's images stay in my mind's eye, as yours has for the last few days. Thanks.

I'm going to link to you. Paint on.

Deborah Paris said...

Hi Adam. Thank you very much and welcome!