HollyDeanArtist: Often Medieval in Mood: Re: I've been thinking

Monday, August 22, 2011

Re: I've been thinking

BRIGHT WEAVINGS, mixed media painting, 10" x 10" SOLD

I thought that I would share a response I made this morning to an email received from a wonderfully inventive friend...

Dear Hugh,

Wow! The idea that we "buy the story, not the art" must be in the air! You had mentioned something of the sort in an earlier email, as did another friend who dropped by my studio, a marketing consultant that Larry and I have hired for our respective businesses and Terry O'Reilly on The Age of Persuasion the other day.

I was so pumped on my way to the Women's Art Festival yesterday morning. The rain was not putting  a damper on my spirits at all. As Larry and I set up it was POURING!!! I started to feel like the show might be a washout. It's such a lot of work to pack and unpack the MINI, not to mention setting the tent and display up. Would anybody come? Larry, in his inimitable fashion, encouraged me to keep my spirits up.

I was very impressed with how many people were not deterred by the rain. They were bent on getting their fill of art! They arrived covered in water repellent fabric, carrying umbrellas and, in many cases, sporting exuberantly patterned rain boots. Someone is making a killing in rainy day footwear!

I have been putting a lot of thought into what makes my art unique and what some of the stories behind it are. And I have done extensive writing about it over the last couple of months for my re-visioned website. I started engaging people in conversation. I paid attention to what I said AND to what they said and how they reacted to my work. The results were astounding! Such a reaction... people connected to my work and got very excited about it. I had experienced this reaction before, but more intermittently. I had previously relied on my art to connect with the viewer without much help from me.

One of my mixed media paintings, "Bright Weavings", attracted a lot of attention. A woman who was intrigued said, "Tell me about this painting." I was off! I told the story of how it was an exercise in morphing shapes. How I started with a photograph of the inside of a dovecot from England, using paper and pencil to isolate and morph the shapes I saw. The result being the two jaunty towers, flags and banners that give this piece so much motion and character. I explained how I don't think I could have captured that sense of motion if I had just drawn the shapes to start with. "I'll take it," she said. Off went the painting with it's happy collector, leaving behind a happy artist. Happy, yes, that I had made a sale, (this is how I make my living, after all) but happier still that I had enhanced the woman's experience of my art and created a deeper connection to a piece that she was intrigued by in the first place.

My art is an extension of who I am and I find it exhilarating to share stories about it. I tell you, being an artist is such a fulfilling way of life and I wouldn't trade it for all the gold in the kingdom. I will trade my art for gold though ;)

Thank you for your encouraging words and, as always, your brilliant ideas!

Holly xo


  1. Your artwork is brilliant, Holly - I've been on your website and had a look at everything... Great and very inspiring!

  2. Wow! Thank you so much, Sue. I'm thrilled that you are inspired by my work :) I've only had a chance to take a quick look at your art, but "hot landscape" caught my eye immediately. I see you are a web designer too - a talented woman!



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