Road trips for Georgie and I usually consist of exploring new or old sites for future artwork material or photo destinations, or just to get out and rejuvenate and get the cobwebs out of our heads after being immersed in work all the time.
This past Thursday, however, was an exception as we went to an invitational Art Gala down near Des Moines in Clive, Iowa. The event was being put on for the clients of DeWaay Capital Management and the public. Georgie and I don't usually participate in art "fairs" as we only exhibit and sell through galleries and art centers/museums but this event was somewhat different and it never hurts to meet new potential collectors.
25 artists from all over Iowa were invited to exhibit and sell their works in the building of DeWaay Capital Management...panels were furnished for the artists to use and wine bars were situated throughout the building's 3 levels. A string quartet played through the evening as clients of DeWaay and the public got to view and purchase artwork, and partake in the wonderful food bar and chocolate bar as well...all of which were complimentary and simply wonderful. The chocolate was nothing short of amazing :) !
I had many good conversations and contacts during the evening and sold a few prints and a painting...it is a very good feeling for any artist when people express their love for a particular piece of work.
The Business end of art is one I don't generally discuss but if an artist is to continue in their discipline, be it as a painter, musician, performer, or whatever - they have to consider their avenues of selling or getting work. Occasionally a road trip comes along that is all business, and it is a good thing to make new acquaintances and renew some old ones. (We were also able to visit a couple artists we hadn't seen in twenty years...that was great too.)
I'm going to begin offering the work I do here on this blog as well. I'm finding that occasionally someone asks me if I do artwork full time or if it is just a hobby. Art has never been a hobby for me - it's always been my life...what makes me get up each day. If I'm not creating, I'm seeking the seeds of that process so I can begin again to take part in that creative process.
I do have hobbies, things that interest me and are also fun to do...I love the prairie and educating others about it's importance. I love our natural heritage in general...Georgie and I like to go Birding whenever we're out and doing other things...we volunteer for many conservation organizations and activities. These are more like hobbies to me.
My art work usually reflects the natural part of this world. So maybe people find it hard to separate from just an "interest"? But as an artist I find I must do what interests and moves me on an emotional and even an intellectual level, or I will find it difficult to convey or celebrate it in my work.
As my message (or statement) says on my business web site home page "Our natural heritage is so important to me; it's a God given treasure upon the earth for us to use - with sincere respect. I am compelled to celebrate this gift in my work, whether it be a painting in plein-air or in the studio...or in the field through the lens or ground glass of the camera."
I hope you enjoy going through this process with me!