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What is more Important in a Painting, the Artists' Passion, or the Viewers Connection?

“Every work of art stems from a wound in the soul of an Artist.” Ted Hughes

I recently had a conversation with a collector after she purchased one of my paintings. She asked me to tell her what I was feeling when I painted her painting. Since I had recently painted the painting she purchased, I could write down my thoughts and feelings.

During my conversation with her, I asked her what was more important, what I felt when I created the painting, or what SHE felt when she connected with the painting?

So, what is more important? The story behind the artist’s painting the artwork, or the reason the collector connected with the paint. This connection that a collector feels when they look at a painting and continue to connect with their artwork year after year as the painting continues to speak to them in their space is very strong.

From talking to collectors, I have found, that not every collector buys art for the same reason, but every collector makes a connection of some sort with the painting they want to own. They are the ones that will see the artwork daily and therefore this connection is many times emotional.

So here are my thoughts from selling my artwork for many years.

My artwork is sold international and there are times I never meet nor have a conversation with the collector. They might have purchased my work from a gallery, or a show I am not physically present when they purchase the artwork. But many pieces of my artworks are sold to collectors I have either met in person or have had some longer type of a connection online through my social media, so, they have some connection to me as an artist, my thoughts, or my passions that bleeds into my paintings.

I often wonder what connected those buyers that I have never met to my artwork if they do not know my passion from knowing me. Perhaps it is from my title of the work or the description of the painting!! There are so many other artists they can buy from, but they choose to add a piece of my work into their collection. That honors me.

So, in my artist journey, since most of my collectors are those that, I have connected with either in person or online, I have experienced that my artist’s story is just as important as what is behind the creation of the artwork. Once that connection is made, the story behind the piece that a collector purchase becomes an additional reason the collector purchases my artwork.

I am often asked: “what I was thinking when I painted the piece, what inspired me, was I happy, angry, emotionally charged? What passion was involved in the creation. Why did I add the layers I added, why did I choose the mediums in the painting?” But that is AFTER they are already physically connected with the artwork. It is like my story is secondary. Collectors seem to fall in love with artwork more often once they witness the artist’s genuine passion in their work.

So when I read the quotation by Ted Hughes, “Every work of art stems from a wound in the soul of an Artist.” I completely understood the words.

If I were to offer any helpful words on your connecting with artwork, it might be:

1. What do you feel? What is the artwork saying to you? How do you feel when you look at the artwork, happy, disturbed, anger, inspired? Any of these feelings is OK, if the feelings invoked is what you want to feel each time you look at the artwork.

2. What do you see? Are you connecting to the shapes, the colors, the textures?

3. Will you still feel connected to the artwork year after year? Are you moved to the point you need the artwork in your life?

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