Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Living with art

Ava in the Garden
Original oil painting  18x14"
by Susan Roux

What is the value of your art?

I don't mean the retail cost of it. No, not at all. I'm talking about how much it's valued by it's owner.

I was talking to my dear artist friend, Svetlana Beattie. I'd like to share with you the story she told me about a particular painting she'd done.

The lady who purchased her painting had become a close friend. She was a gardner among other things and invited Svetlana to come paint in the garden anytime she wished. It became the artist's point of inspiration for a great number of beautiful works. The relationship between the two grew, one loving the garden the other loving the painter's interpretation.

Two artists in their own right, not only appreciating each others creations, but finding stimulation to enhance their work by seeing it through the other's eyes.

The artist came frequently to paint directly in the garden. So often really, that she had almost become a moving sculpture in the landscape. The gardner had trouble seeing the artist's works leave her property. After all, they were an exquisite emotional response to her flowers and landscape. As it turned out, she would purchase many of them directly upon their completion. It was a very good relationship for both.

The artist had an exhibition and because many of her works were never shown in public, due to the gardner buying them instantly, the artists asked permission to show one of the paintings. At first the gardner didn't want to agree to it, but after some reflection and hard coaxing by the artist, she finally agreed to let it be shown.

Two short days after letting her painting go, the gardner came to the artist begging for her painting back. I can't stand it anymore! This big empty wall. I knew I loved your painting, but I never realized just how much it means to me. Every time I glanced over the painting soothed me, relaxed me. Now that it's missing I feel anxious and irritable. I need my painting back, right away!

It was emotional.

When you begin to live with a piece of original art, it may come as a surprise to the buyer, but you'll be affected by it in many ways. Much like a wine continues to grow and change in the bottle, a painting also has a life all it's own. The artist has projected their soul into it. It is impossible to separate the two. The deeper you look into a piece of art, the more you see and feel the artist.

Light changes in the household and each time, the painting changes as well. This is not a quality saved exclusively for Kinkade's work, though he would have liked to make people think so. Oil paintings change with varied light. It's part of the living quality it possesses.

These things, the soul of the artist, the light changing the painting, speak to the buyer. Living with art improves quality of life. It does exude healing properties. It can relax, de-stress and sooth... A buyer falls in love with the painting and each time he/she views it, it's comparable to viewing one's love. Just as your love can grow for your partner, so it can grow for your art.

The emotional attachment is real.

Now artist, go pour yourselves out on canvas! You never know how much it will inspire or affect someone else, so do your best and make it count. Art is a window into your soul. Put all your passion into it and it will reflect back.


  1. That was a good post, Susan. It's true that we become "attached" in a sense to beautiful images in our surroundings.

    See? You artists have an important job! Your handiwork can make a person's day shine.


  2. Thank you for the touching creative post today! I am truly inspired! I read once that people don't buy the painting, they buy the artist. To me, that's exactly what you're talking about here. Something special in the painting is communicated from the artist to the buyer. (of course, I have yet to experience that phenomenon...)

  3. Gorgeous painting and I hung onto your every word! So want to paint again! I promised myself that I would start soon! Thanks you are amazing!

  4. Another thoughtful post and another I have enjoyed and will now give further thought to . Thank You

  5. You have written such an exceptional piece. I wish all of the world could be exposed to it. My work is a piece of my heart poured onto a substrate. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  6. lors de l'exposition de martinealison...nous avons parlé .. de suzanne.. naturellement!

  7. Hola Susan, tus pinturas me recuerdan a Edward Hopper.

  8. I just spent the last half hour or so catching up on your interesting, beautiful and insightful blog, Susan, but I must tell you, I am simply blown away by this story! I tend to have a "honeymoon" period with the paintings that please me and I feel so reluctant to let them go, especially during this period as the emotional attachment is still so strong. I have not had anyone relate such a beautiful story to me about how my art affects them - it seems to me that hearing such a thing would make my heart sing. Your friend Svetlana has achieved something that many artists never do. How wonderful for her! And Susan, I am always amazed at the emotional quality in your work - all your soft edges and transitions - your work, even in photos online - always brings me joy.

  9. Such a thought provoking story. It was good to understand the buyer's attachment to the paintings, similar to my attachment to certain furniture, i somehow would not like that particular furniture to be replicated, I want what is mine to remain mine only. Strange it may sound, I sometimes don't understand this sense of attachment, bordering on OCD, in the medical term.
    Nice painting and nice thoughts woven around it.

  10. Great post Susan. As a collector as well as an artist, I know of what you write. I could not lend a piece I own for a University Gallery Retrospective Exhibit. My brain could rationalize lending it, but my soul could not. It's part of my home and my life. Well said.

    PS. I still enjoy "Adrian's Road" everyday.


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