The featured image at the top is from the 2007 Adele Campbell gallery event 'Painting on the Peak'. From left to right: Cameron Bird, Nancy O'toole, Mike Svob, myself, and Rod Charlesworth.
I made the decision early in my career to only do business with people that I like, people that I would happily consider as friends, instead of just making contracts with any gallery or agent that wanted to sell my art, which is very tempting when you are a new, unknown artist, and haven't sold a lot of art. I first wanted to make sure that I trusted, and respected them, and that they felt the same about me, and really wanted to invest in me, and my career. I figure, why should it be any different than my personal life? I don't want to be in relationships with people that are not there to help me be the best version of myself, in business, and in my personal life.
Rod Charlesworth and myself at our show with the 'Whistler Chicks': Michelle, Liz (the current owner of the Adele Campbell Gallery), and Mary.
I think that was a bold decision at the time considering that I was just starting out and had no real market momentum to back it up. But that, as they say, has made all the difference.
Cameron and myself at our show with Connie & Grey, owners of the Artym Gallery
Barb and her family have been a great help and support for me over the years with their art supply store business (Preferred Picture Framing & Art Supplies).
Lovely Louise, who has organized many workshops for me thru her excellent company Leading Edge Art Workshops.
My friend, and fellow artist, Julie deBoer, of the superb Mastruis online mentoring program for artists. Mastrius offers a fantastic opportunity to be part of an artist community and work with amazing master artists from all over the world. https://www.mastrius.com/
I have met so many wonderful friends and acquaintances over the years in this business, with galleries, other artists, clients and collectors, by helping out with fundraisers and charities, as well as the many delightful aspiring and emerging artists that I have worked with in my teaching, mentoring, and workshops. It really is a happy business. People buying art and creating art are usually in a good place in their lives, and that is a joy to be part of.
Some of the fun times doing live workshops and demos:
giving away my demo painting at a workshop
... and even online these days.
For many artists in modern times, esp since the decline of the Master/Apprentice studio system, we spend most of our time by ourselves in our studios. This can be a lonely endeavor for some so it's good to find ways to use our work to get out and connect with the world.
A fulfilling life for most of us is about connection, bonding with good people. No matter your job, occupation or hobby, it is most often the relationships that we form thru our endeavors and getting ourselves out in the world that makes it more worthwhile in the end.
Some of the nice people that have bought my art:
Getting together with friends to create art, or putting on a show, developing your skills thru workshops, or teaching and mentoring,... there a lots of ways to make it happen.
The privilege of doing an art show with my friend and former studio assistant/protege Yvonne Reddick who is now an accomplished artist and painting instructor as well.
Jeweliana, from one of my Mastrius mentoring groups, who dropped by to say 'Hi' when I was in Calgary for a workshop.
Artist friend Theresa paying me a visit in my studio
It is also a great honor and privilege to be able to give back by donating art to charities and fundraisers:
esp for the children, and the animals,...
I am so happy that this painting raised $11,000 for a fundraiser to help families impacted by the BC floods in 2021. Plus, some friends of mine won the raffle for the painting! How cool is that?
It a wonderful when your creative endeavors can help you be part of something bigger than yourself.
Art + relationships = :)