As far as I can recall I was always a collector. Stones. Sticks. Feathers. Stamps. Foreign dolls. Yarn. Paint store color chips. Toulouse Lautrec posters.
When I was twelve or thirteen there was a gallery in my neighborhood I’d go in now and then. One day I saw a serigraph – an odalisque in deep turquoise and vivid fuchsia – and I fell in love. Hard.
I went to visit it whenever I could. It was a fortune: $150! I’d just raised my babysitting rate to a scandalous 35 cents an hour, and hadn’t yet rebuilt my savings after purchasing a used Singer sewing machine for $99 two years before (which I use it to this day.)
My Dad offered some advice. “Why don’t you tell the gallery owner how much you love the piece and ask if you can pay him $5 a month for it? All he can say is No.”
From the vantage point of 2018 I see it differently. How could the owner not have noticed an 80 lb. girl with hair to her waist coming into his gallery on a regular basis to swoon over a print? I screwed up my nerve and asked. He said yes!
That was how I started my art collection. I still own, and love, that serigraph. Over the years I’ve acquired other pieces and was able to gradually offer more than $5 a month, but almost every piece I own was purchased in small increments.
This is why I’ve offered payment plans since my very first exhibit, back when the highest amount on the price list was $100. Over the years, many, many collectors have purchased my work this way. I ask them what would be a comfortable payment for them and we go from there, because I remember when $5 was a stretch for me. It was a stretch worth making.
It seems almost sinful for me to have a piece in my flat file or storage unit when someone who is drawn to it could live with it. I feel very strongly that when someone falls in love with a work of art they should be able to see it every day. It’s an intimate and enduring relationship. It nourishes the soul, and who doesn’t need more soul nourishment?
So if you love one of my paintings, I hope you won’t hesitate to ask me about owning it. I’m pretty easy to talk with. (firstname.lastname@example.org, and put Painting in the subject line)
I hope you'll contribute to my Indiegogo Campaign to help print the 2019 Calendar.