What Selling Artwork Means to Me

Just to Touch the Hem; 2014; 29" x 21"; mixed media: watercolor and pastel.

Just to Touch the Hem; 2014; 29″ x 21″; mixed media: watercolor and pastel.

I slid the letter out of the envelope, with a check. My painting, Just to Touch the Hem, sold! I felt thrill of excitement to hold tangible reward for the work of my hands, but also a wash of sadness:  a sliver of my heart, gone forever. Two of my pieces were accepted into the Regional Autumn Show 2014, sponsored by the Colorado Springs Art Guild. As I checked out the remaining painting, I asked if there was any way to learn the name of the buyer. Whose heart unknown, beat with mine? Which stranger connected with the image I painted, and wanted to keep it near? There was no record available.

If I could, I would write a thank you letter to the person. I would let them how much it encourages an artist when someone invests in their work, how sometimes that boost is enough to keep me painting for months, just knowing that the work has touched someone so that they want it to become their own. I would also let them know that I pray the message of the painting will lift their spirits through many seasons, that it will become their own spiritual bridge (even as it was for me when I painted it) to touch the hem of One who deeply cares.

Art is so much more than a commodity. It is the visual representation of soul language – the artist speaking from deep within what words alone cannot express, and then the viewer interacting with that expression and adding his or her own impressions and experience. When someone purchases a print or original from me, the money is almost inconsequential. The joy for me is evidence of “conversation”:  a transaction representing the intangible, a record of one heart touching another.

Just in case you are interested, I’ve added the originals, below, to my Etsy store, and I also have many prints of other work available on the site:

 

17 thoughts on “What Selling Artwork Means to Me

  1. Reblogged this on artbykcp and commented:
    Colleen thanks for posting this, I feel the same way you do. Art is more than just a painting, it is the voice of the artist speaking when words can not be used. To have someone buy your art and understand you is so empowering. Keep up the awesome work you created with your art and your words. Thank you.

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  2. Congratulations, my dear Colleen on your sale!
    I’m familiar with those mixed feelings – maybe this partly explains why art may be expensive. A gallery owner once told me -as I was struggling with the idea of parting with my work- that there seems to be an ‘angel’ who will always keep your most dear work from being sold. She was actually right!
    Your work is so beautiful, I can’t imagine anyone not connecting with it. If it’s any consolation, the joy your work brings to the new owner would certainly overshadow any parting sadness! 🙂

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    • I love the idea of protection of the pieces most dear. I’ve also noticed that sometimes I just need a little time, and then I’m ok with letting a piece go. But for a while, it’s too integral to the journey. Your sweet, kind words about my work are very precious to me. It’s been such a joy getting to know you, Marina. The images you’ve painted often come to my mind. Particularly your series As Above, So Below. Many of your paintings have lodged in my soul.

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  3. Colleen, congratulation! I’m so happy for you. I’m sure as more people see your work, this will happen more often.

    You are a wonderful artist with a beautiful soul. I feel lucky that I have known you, thanks to our blogs. I look forward to seeing more of your work in the new year and will welcome your visit at my new blog “home”: http://www.jeanhuangphotography.com/blog. 🙂

    Take good care,

    Jea

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  4. As someone who is working on a book (to hopefully sell! ack!) I resonate with you so much in this. Not to mention, I LOVE your art. I have purchased a print for a friend, but I think it may now be turn to buy one for myself 😉

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  5. As soon as I read the first line, I felt sad for you for parting with it and sad for me not being the lucky buyer! Congratulations! I think the buyer will be blessed exceedingly by the painting and by your prayers.

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  6. Your work is lovely, Colleen! That mixed feeling about selling artwork is something I get. I’ve painted for a while but so far have not gotten over my feeling of “separation anxiety” from a particular piece being away from me. Every time I look at a work I’ve done I recall all the thoughts that helped shape it.

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    • I am so embarrassed that I missed approving and responding to your comment all this time! I “lost” it on my inbox, but I so appreciate it. Yes, I usually have to wait several months to several years before I can let go of a piece. Art is truly an expression of the heart.

      Liked by 1 person

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