Why an Art Sale is More than it Seems
A couple weeks ago, I sold my first large painting, Lily Pond, measuring 40" X 40" framed. The transaction was amazing. Thinking about it now gives me goose bumps, just as it did when we placed Lily Pond in the customer's dining room. I learned at that moment that an art sale is so much more than it seems.
When a work of art sells, it is of course exciting for everyone. We all know the artist needs to sell in order for her practice to survive, and the patron needs the right painting to complement and enrich his or her home. But the transaction goes far beyond these basic benefits. I learned then just how rich the relationship between artist and patron really is.
There is so much more to what happens in art when it is created with authenticity, from within, which Lilly Pond was. I created Lily Pond to express my love for nature and especially my love for a koi pond that sits in our backyard. A few weeks ago, my customer visited my current exhibition "Impressions of Shenandoah & Beyond" at Shenandoah Vineyards. She recently told me how much she loved Lily Pond, and had decided she really wanted it; only she just needed to make sure it would go with her current décor. We made arrangements to bring the painting by her home to see.
Walking up to my customer's home, with large painting in arms, I was filled with a sense of purpose and meaning. This is because I created something that spoke to me, fulfilled my need for expressing the beauty of our world, and was something that flowed out from within me. I was proud of the painting whether or not it was a good fit for the customer's home. But when we put the painting on her sideboard, we both exclaimed with delight. I was astounded at how wonderful it looked in her setting. We jumped up and down and even hugged each other. A strange transfer was happening, where the meaning of this creation which started with me was continuing through her. It was incredibly surprising! I did not expect this richness.
What transpired was not an exchange of craft for money. It was a symbiotic relationship of goodness, where an artist's meaningful creation also becomes a meaningful addition to someone else's life. The inspiration of beauty never tires. "Love" is the epitome of "meaning". When a patron supports an artist, he or she validates the artist's raison d' etre, and gives her permission to keep going on her artistic path. I call this a form of love. Beauty and love are all that matters in this world.
This is why an art sale is so much more than what it seems!