Thursday, 12 June 2014


I showed a painting to some prospective buyers recently.

They woooed and areeeed and said how lovely it was......and went away and didn't come other words the work just didn't 'touch' them enough for them to want to part with their well earned money.

Some time later they explained why they didn't like the was then that I realised that they actually hadn't understood what the painting was all about.

I was completely shocked when I realised this.

As an artist I automatically thought that the reason for creating the work would be obvious to the viewer.

 I'm not sure why I thought this, but I did.

I now realise how naive I have been. I now also know that things have to be explained....people have to know and understand  THE STORY behind what ever it is they are looking at.

In a way showing a painting with out explanation is a little like trying to sell a book with out a's just another boring book.

For me though the hard part is actually knowing what has happened in the process of creating the painting.
It may sound rather silly that I am suggesting that I do a work of art with out knowing exactly what I'm doing!

Well to me it does SEEM like I don't know what I'm doing...because I just do it!

 There is not a lot of thought going into it.

Getting back to THE STORY and telling the story of a painting...because I don't really know what I'm doing I do find it very hard to TELL someone about the creation of a work...

So with the last few paintings I have done, I have made a conscious effort to take notice of my thoughts....seems weird I know.

Today I was painting and I realised that I wasn't thinking at all ...I was just doing.

 But every now and again I will step back from the work and sit on my stool and just have a good look at the painting and what's happening.

 This is when I think,
 I think....

I will take note of what looks OK and what looks like sh..t and I will think about how to fix it...or I will say to myself that all looks OK ....a then I will make a few decisions on how I will continue. After mix a bit of colour or what ever and I start again I really do think that's when the thinking stops.

 I am actually getting off the subject a little lets get back to trying to sell a painting and the prospective purchaser doesn't get it.

This is a very interesting thing...myself (artist) says well too bad someone else will see what I'm getting at ...I then say to my self that this painting is not meant for this person and as far as I'm concerned that's the end of that.

But my husband and others say that is not the case at all is up to me as the creator of this work to explain to them so that they do understand and they then go AHHH!! now I see.!!

I probably think both of the above are true...but I do think I have to try a bit harder to sell something and the way to do that is to sell the STORY!!

So from now on every time I finish a painting or drawing I am going to write a little story to explain what I have done and why I have done it.

That's my little rant for today


  1. Great post. I too am learning the value of story around my paintings. While we as artist are satisfied by simply being drawn mysteriously to something visually intriguing that resonates with some part of our subconscious/spirit, most people need a bit of story-telling and hand-holding to "get there". I think we take for granted just how visually we as painters think. It is not this way for most...and I forget that. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. Thanks Jeff. You say that so much better than I did!! You are so right when you say how we take for granted how 'visual' we are. I must learn to remember this. Love your paintings by the way, they are gentle and peaceful.