Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Connecting with buyers


The artist painting in the studio is removed from life outside - we bring our external experiences back into the studio and translate these feelings into paint. Then we take our work outside again and exhibit it - either in a gallery or online on our blog, website or on social media platforms.

Then a work is sold and moves to the buyer’s home and the artist’s connection with the work is broken. The artist needs to sell work to survive, but it’s often hard to say goodbye to a special piece. If a work is specially commissioned then there's a close relationship between the artist and the buyer. I have been fortunate to have had inspiring and enjoyable commissions recently. The painting below was so difficult to photograph - the extreme light areas are silver leaf and proved beyond my photographic ability to capture exactly.



Grey, silver black -  Oil on canvas 1000mm x 1000mm ©2012 Carol Lee Beckx
Collection Transform Hair

When the painting is sold at an exhibition frequently the artist will not know who the buyer was. Sometimes the gallery wants to keep their client list private and won't disclose the buyer's name. If  it’s group show there would be too much admin for the organisers to let each artist know who bought what.

Sometimes you find out years later who bought the painting. Recently I received an email from someone I hadn’t heard from for more than ten years. He had been looking at my website, discovered I had moved to Australia and wanted to let me know that he owned three of my paintings. It was so good that he took the trouble to write to tell me and send images of the paintings. These two paintings are from the time when I did many miniature paintings, quite a change of scale compared to some of my recent work!


Waterfront Cape Town - watercolour on paper est. 50mm x 80mm ©2012 Carol Lee Beckx

Fishing Boats Cape Town - watercolour on paper - est. 50mm x 80m ©2012 Carol Lee Beckx 

Occasionally the artist has a chance to connect directly with the buyer of a painting. Recently I spent a morning painting in a gallery where my work was being exhibited. I had a chance to talk to someone who had bought a painting of mine. There was a wonderful opportunity to talk about the creative process and my inspiration for the painting.

Then this week I received this email:

                  Every day when I come into the office it's the first thing I see and it's the last thing I  see as I'm closing the door to leave. I can't think of a more wonderful way to start or finish my working day - a beautiful image to carry me through the day and one that reminds me that no matter how arduous my day has been there is always something good about it.


An artist can ask for no more than this.