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Notes on Gratitude

I think many people believe that the relationship between artist and collector goes like this: artist creates...collector sees painting and likes the way it looks...collector pays money...artist is thankful for the funds...collector is thankful for the artwork....done. This transactional view even rubs off on me sometimes, leaving me feeling hopeless, but there is always something that pops up to remind me of how much more there is to this relationship. Yesterday was one case in point.

My art practice helps me to change the way I think about the world. When I take a moment to notice the unimaginably intricate line patterns on the outside of a shell or witness the jaw dropping vast swaths of moving color in s sunset. It makes me feel gratitude...lucky to be alive, living, breathing, loving, seeing, and tasting for this time on earth. I create to practice this gratitude and strive to share it in my paintings. I’m quite sure that those who have connected with my work appreciate these things, too. When I meet people and discuss my work; I learn about others and the way they stay connected. We need each other for these reminders, and art is a sounding board for these discussions.

It’s about sharing, and I’m eternally grateful for the relationships that it forges. Yesterday I hung my paintings for an art reception this Friday evening in a friend’s coffee shop in my home town (Leesburg VA) which is close by, but I don’t get there often. We’ve been friends since childhood. As I was working at hanging up the show I was thinking about how grateful I am for all the years that she has been there...lot’s of change with lots of time apart....but always there to accept me as I grow and evolve as an artist and person. She is also a collector of art, the kind of person who will make a connection with an artist’s work and buy it. She’s never been super interested in home decorating, but finds a value in the sentiment of someones interesting idea and hard work. She reminds me that it’s just as important to connect as it is to create.

Through this back and forth we develop a deeper relationship with life. It helps create a sense of peace, and allows us the opportunity to surround ourselves with reminders to be grateful for our precious time on this beautiful earth.


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