The Importance of the Artist’s WHY!




This article is written for both the artist and the collector as to the “WHY” in a person’s persona. This “WHY” directs our choices in either creating art or purchasing art and is important as this why comes from our inner voice within each of us.


Have you ever gone into an art gallery with friends, and you immediately head to a piece of art that you absolutely LOVE and your friend heads to another? Or stared at an art book by a certain artist and moved. Or a more common event, pinned only certain art pieces on Pinterest.


You might have said something like this…. “That art just speaks to me?” So, what does that mean and how is that translated into us as collectors/buyers of art and artists that create art?


I feel this is an important concept as it is what is behind our personal “WHY” that directs what art we love and what we as an artist might create. It is also why collectors buy from certain artists and not others.


Here is a story that helped me understand this concept. There is one artist that I so admire because I have sat under their tutelage to learn their techniques of design, value, color, etc. But I do not particularly love their artwork. When I was learning the concepts, I would paint like they did and hated my work.


This led me to sit back and ask myself, what in their artwork is it that I do not connect with? This teachers work was structured, full of lines and painted in muted tones.


It is all connected with the “WHY” in the art and more importantly “OUR WHY” in how we view the artwork. Let me explain if by now you are scratching your head in wonder as to where I am going in this concept. This mind set has changed the way I paint and the way I approach my art journey.


First, ask yourself, what is it in art piece you are drawn that turns your head, makes you want to buy that art book and sit with a glass of wine or coffee and study the artwork and dream about when you can get into your studio and have “a go” at trying to emulate the artwork. Or as a collector, makes you desire that piece OF ART from a certain artist. OK, I might have gone a bit to far here, but I want to make a point.


I have had my collectors tell me that when they see my paintings, they visualize a piece in their home. They actually place the artwork on a wall and then they tell me they had to buy one of my pieces. I have had them tell me a piece spoke to them as they felt something, like a magical connection. That is powerful as an artist to hear.

This all rounds back to the reason behind what is inside each of us that leads us to love someone’s art and not particularly love another artist’s work.


What we love in our world, what turns our head, what colors we feel good around shape how we connect to the designs we put in our homes or paint on our canvases. So, the colors we use in our décor of our homes, even what jewelry we might wear are all clues to our why. That artist that I learned from created artwork with hard edged lines and shapes in their work. They occasionally added collage bugs and birds into their pieces. When I tried to do this (I even bought an edged tool) I hated my art.


You see, I love in my personal world, the spiral, messy lines, unusual shapes, and lots of off balanced objects. My home is decorated with objects sitting off center, unusual sizes of vessels, black and white in one room and full-on color in the next. What I wear is the same concept. I have black and whites and neutrals that I love to wear but I add wild earrings and accessories that are as wild as they can be!! My handbags are painted in paint (on purpose!!). And these habits make me feel incredible.


If you are a collector, you deserve to ensure the artwork you collect, the pieces you look at when you get up in the morning or stare at during your conference calls are pieces that speak to WHO YOU ARE, what makes you happy.


I have one collector that told me his home was decorated by his wife in dainty watercolor paintings of waterfalls or birds and while he loved original art, he would just walk right by them and never enjoy their beauty. He is a ballroom dancer and loves all the styles of dances from the smooth music to the rhythm. He had been to my website several times and wanted a piece of my art and his wife agreed he should have at least one piece that he loved. He picked a 24” x 36” piece of blues that had messy strokes, a chaotic structure, and the opposite of a dainty watercolor, but it was him! It sits at a focal spot in their home.


24" x 36" SOLD to Private Collector


This piece resonates with him, speaks to him and he has since told me over the years that he still feels good looking at the painting.


When I was a little girl, I traveled with my family all over the US and Europe. My father was in the AF Band and protocol in the military. He would take us to all of the little villages of Spain, France and Italy where we would eat the cuisine, visit in the little villages, and see the true culture of the towns. I remember one time in a little city the woman showing us our rooms handed me a “thing” that was hot to the touch and told me it was my bed warmer. I soon found out why. The bed sheets were washed each day, hung to dry and put on the beds and sometimes they were still damp. The bed warmer was to warm the damp sheets!!!


My father is still a musician and when I see his mind wander even today and hear him in this continual hum, he tells me he is in his music box, all the time, composing. I would come home from school, and he would have rearranged the entire living room of furniture. One time he painted large diamonds of bright color on the walls, and I LOVED IT. I heard the concept of freedom, color, music, dance from my father. His carried me into my adulthood. …. So, my brush strokes to me are like my own musical notes, playing in my head. I am composing a music on my canvas.


My life as a child was messy, free, full of adventure and constant new sights as I moved from town to town every 3 to 4 years.


Today, I carry that same freedom (messy freedom brushstrokes) into my art. I am a full-on abstract expressionists artist with unlimited boundaries. To be an expressionist to me…. is the highest freedom you can have as an artist. I have NO limits. I learned to know my why and understand how my why directs me as a person in my daily walk in life and most certainly as an abstract artist.


I can paint whatever I feel, I am free to create what I want in my studio. Each of my strokes are expressions of my life as I experienced them as a child and carried into my current state. When I throw paint, it is a freedom I feel with no apologies.

To know this about my childhood and how I still approach life, color, etc. was what I needed in my art journey as it helped inform WHY I love what I love in my art pieces today. I do not need to apologize to someone if they do not love the rawness of my paintings as they are a part of my soul. But I sure do love it when someone tells me my paintings speak to them, as they are my people!!!


So as a collector/buyer of original art, or an artist, take time to understand who you are, who you were, to help understand your why. You will start to understand why certain art is exciting to you.


If you are an artist, start writing down what you love on a list and refer to that in your creations……….. you will start to paint more like YOU from a deeper place than before.


Again, just my humble thoughts as an artist.




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