I believe that people do not buy artwork. They lay down their hard-earned dollars to initiate a memory of someone or something that is very dear to them. People may buy their dream home, decorate, and re-decorate it to the hilt, filling it with the best furniture, electronics (wide-screen TV’s, stereo systems and the like), and all sorts of luxuries that money can buy. However, many of these things in time will break, wear out, or be replaced with “new and improved” versions of the same. Even their dream home will be sold off to some stranger when people are gone or can no longer afford, maintain, or use it.
A painting, on the other hand, will be passed on from generation to generation as an heirloom, often with no money changing hands. It will be enjoyed long after its subjects have died or have passed out of existence. Paintings document our ancestry, history, and former ways of life, giving up the knowledge and experience to better our lives and society. They are indispensable to the value we place on the memory of our parents, the moral instruction of our children, and the human quality of our own everyday lives.
Photographs do an excellent job recording in two dimensions a three dimensional person, object, and/or scene. With today’s technologies, including digital photography and Photoshop, that third dimension of the subject is ever increasing. Nevertheless, a person’s true dimension extends beyond the physical world and its high-tech tools. It includes their life experiences, attitudes, and beliefs and how they picture themselves in this life and the universe.
As an artist, I especially enjoy discovering that unique “true dimension” of my subject matter. One of the truly rewarding parts of any commission, I find, comes before the first brush stroke is even placed. I love to sit down with my subjects. By getting to know them, we discover a way together to best express their true spirit or that of someone or something they truly love. It is then my job to use the tools of my trade—light, the tactile richness of pure pigment, and always composition—to express what I have grown to know. Regardless of size or complexity, each painting truly is precious to me—each one is a precious piece in that forever incomplete puzzle called the human condition.