When I do pictures for people, I don’t always know their standard of art.
That probably sounds a bit strange, but I know that some people totally understand art and have good taste in it, and some have somewhat suspect choices in art that I keep my mouth shut over when I set eyes onÂ it, since it shows a total lack of understanding of artistic talent!
So when I delivered the fifteen prints this weekend to the guy who had ordered them, I had no knowledge of what sort of art he liked. He certainly likes my art (what good taste the man has! 🙂 ) but that doesn’t mean he has a good understanding of art. Since he was in the process of decorating and there weren’t any pictures on his walls except for a Jack Vettriano, then it was a blank wall (ha! art pun!) to me.
He quietly went through the prints I’d done for him, making special note of the titles (as you should!) because its important and should add something to the painting from the title the artist has chosen. He put them away, and told me about some other pictures he’d got, that a colleague had done some years ago at his request. “Oh yes” I politely nodded at him, since I’ve heard similar conversations with others and have to look at some inferior piece of artwork that they think is great, and I know is crap, but because Auntie Ethel painted it 40 years ago they think its wonderful. He rummaged through a pile of stuff at the corner of the room, and brought the first one out to show me, all wrapped up in bubble-wrap as he explained about how the pictures had come about. I nodded again, listening politely. And then he took the first one out, and showed it to me. WOW – I almost grabbed it out of his hand to look closer at it.Â It was an ink drawing done simply on white paper, but beautifully drawn, depicting a battle in the American Civil War, bodies strewn everywhere, death and destruction all around. Not a subject matter that I am at all interested in, and yet I would have happily had that picture on my wall. And it turned out to be one of four that he had, and as each one was brought out, I admired it, hungrily devouring each in turn with my eyes.Â And when I’d done that, I stood them all up upright together to view them as the collection they were. Stunningly atmospheric and cleverly composed, simple and fantastically effective. And smiled in the presence of true art. It doesn’t matter what the subject matter is, you just know its beautifully executed.
He then went on to show me some prints he’d also got, and they were lovely too. A beautiful collection of different people in different vocations, that I found very appealing too.
So, when he told me the next thing, I listened. He said……..
“Don’t undervalue yourself” as he looked at me seriously. And then went on to tell me that if anyone wants to buy a picture from me, they’ll findÂ a way of saving up the money to do that. Because you will always find the money if a painting is special enough for you, no matter how much it is.
Ok, I’m listening to that piece of advice. Because I value who it is who has told it to me.