MY PHILOSOPHY OF ART
First - thank you for getting to know my work - and my ideas on art.
Connection with the Art Buyer
A very Brief History of the Art Market
Art enjoyed a great century during the 1700's throughout Europe - but particularly so in England. Noble men would purchase works of art during their travels and have them sent back to their estates. Some opened their castles to the public and charged an admission to see their collections. The meaning of "galleries" during the following century was primarily that of a place where the public could pay an admission and see many works from several collections.
Eventually - galleries became more-and more a place to purchase work. The endorsement of the gallery helped inspire confidence on the part of the buyer that the work was worthy of the price. Art Shows became popular in the last half of the 19th century and continued to expand throughout the following century (also in the form of art fairs).
Allow me to then step further back in time beginning in the 18th century and going backward many centuries in time. The way for artists to become known was through word of mouth in a community - then in the city, a region - and an entire country. My effort is an attempt to bring that back - at least for collectors of my work. By reaching out through referrals and through direct contact of my own efforts - I'm able to eliminate the expense involved
in gallery representation or art shows and/or fairs. This means greater value for you - the collector (or prospective collector) of my work.
My Philosophical Approach
However - most art collectors use their soul and personal feeling when buying a painting. "It speaks to me" or "I can't say exactly why - but I just love this piece" are often heard from such buyers. To me - this is beautiful. These are the people who develop a repore' with a work... it brings them fascination, solace and joy for many years. These are the connections that pass down to family who also become engaged with such works. To wit; my mother was an early fan of the American abstract expressionists. I can remember as a child as young as 5 when she would show me magazines or books with images of work by Kline, Rothko, Diebenkorn, Pollock and Motherwell... especially Motherwell. These works moved her. We were blue-color folks - so we couldn't even imagine owning such work - but she was passionate about it - and passed that passion onto me. In fact - I'd attribute at least half of my art sales in those earlier years of my professional art career to her. She'd faithfully be at my shows and fairs and tell folks who liked my work, "you really want to own some of this work - this fellow is going places!".
I see art in some ways like wine. Many folks are intimidated by "wine people" who know a lot about wine. Certainly - if you are into wine - you can develop your knowledge and your palette to enhance your experience with good (or great) bottles, But the simplest way to enjoy wine is to ask yourself, "do I like it?" - and then "why?".
As an artist - each new piece that I am working on represents a challenging and evolving relationship. I see each painting like a new person that I am privileged to get to know. As the work develops - the work itself begins to have an influence on the direction of the evolving relationship. It becomes more subtly complex. Isn't that like many people? As you get to know them and see beneath the surface - you learn more interesting information. For me - it's most satisfying when I see someone become engaged with a piece of my work and begin to move closer and closer to examine what their eye is uncovering.... depth.
The artist must be free to choose. It is only in collaboration with the free market that artist can thrive. By this - I mean - what does the artist paint next? As Picasso said, "Whenever inspiration finds you - let it find you at work."
Many aspiring artists only wish to create something pleasing... something beautiful. But as Diebenkorn taught (he was a professor of art, too) - it is in the taking of risk and/or in painting over parts of a painting (often several times) - that depth, intrigue and significance are created. Sometimes innovation and/or highly evolved technique are all that is needed in this endeavor for greater artistic meaning and value. Richard Diebenkorn felt that being an artist was the farthest and highest one could go in a society. In the end, it is the free market that elevates an artist's work to higher and higher levels.
Peter's approach is to be at work. As Picasso once said, "when inspiration finds you - let it find you at work." Innovation, experience, expertise, highly evolved technique, beauty, depth and significance are all the result of being at work. But "work" doesn't only occur while in the act of painting - but in the action of study as well. Referencing Diebenkorn again - it was he who said that he often spent twice as much time staring at a painting in progress than actually being involved with applying the paint. One small section that needs to be changed then leads to another - and yet another still - before the work is complete. So - study takes the form of always learning from other artists who share their ideas - and also studying one's own work that is evolving as it is being rendered.
In the end - it comes down to philosophy. The great psychologist, Carl Jung, once suggested that all of us wish for life to be easy and for life's problems to be solved quickly and without struggle. What we fail to realize is that life's problems are often complex and require thought, growth, faith and hard work. In the climb toward creating valuable work, the artist must achieve a higher, wider and deeper awareness of themselves - and also of the world that they are trying to reference and interpret.