Monday, June 8, 2015

The Art Collector's Labor of Love

"Garden Lion," oil, 8"h x 10"h, ©Jill Banks 2015 was my demo painting at Rittenhouse Square on Sunday
After three days spent at the Rittenhouse Square Fine Art show, I've witnessed (and participated in)  all the care artists take to select what to show, pack, put up tents to house our mini-galleries, present, introduce, and entice others to view and hopefully invest in our artwork -- this extension of ourselves. I was surrounded by extraordinary artists, beautiful art, professionally offered. Kudos to all my talented, hard-working neighbors!
What's not so obvious to us sitting inside the booths is the thought, time, energy that collectors spend looking at and selecting work that will then intertwine with their lives.

I saw people out on the search. Remember: none of us know what our visitors want and none of our visitors know what we are going to bring. It's a dance. We're finding our partners.

"Reverence," oil, 36"h x 36"w, ©Jill Banks 2015 found a great home.
I care about where my artwork arrives in perhaps a different way than a gallery might. It's not the prestige of a collection, it's the heart and soul that goes into it. Where someone hangs a painting ... and why.

"Reverence," my painting of a church in La Morra, Italy, went to the best of homes yesterday. The painting speaks. It has power and beauty both. 

The new owner of "Reverence" saw that. I couldn't imagine a better match. My painting is backed by exposed brick in a beautiful loft where it finds pride of place ... rather perfectly. As much as I care where it's going, John, the new owner of "Reverence" showed me how much care he took in its
John beside "Reverence" in his loft. Lights, more to follow.
acquisition and placement. Special lighting will follow shortly. A leather armchair will fall below. Draperies will leave a little more room. "Reverence" found a most gracious, welcoming home.

So many of you have provided the same for more of my "kids." I love how paintings find their way to where they will catch your eye most often. Within eyesight of a favorite chair or kitchen counter. On the stairway to start or end your day.

Before finding that perfect place, you figured out what should go there. Walking around the square at Rittenhouse, I realized just how difficult that decision must be.

I came home thankful for all those who visited my booth, who watched my demo on Sunday (many), who took home (or hope to acquire) the work they saw throughout the show. I can't tell you how many thank yous were received by guests over the weekend for just being there. Wholeheartedly, I offer the same thank you back.

"Ebony and Ivory," oil, 16"h x 12"w, ©Jill Banks 2014
Past the Last Minute Purchase
Randy and I were always slow to shut down the booth. On Sunday, shoppers seemed to linger, hoping to find "the one." We did pack up ... about an hour late. When only five pieces were left unboxed, still hanging in my booth ... "Ebony and Ivory," my painting of ballerinas was purchased by Steve,  President of a company that manufactures tutus and dance costumes. Another perfect, happy fit.

Demo'ing in the Square
On Sunday at 1pm, I was giving the official Rittenhouse Square demonstration ... supposedly in the center of the square. On Friday and Saturday, I walked around the area at 1pm, checking out my light and possibilities. I was trying to stay as close to the center as possible, paint what intrigued me, leave room for some onlookers, stay in the shade. Tough assignment.

I decided to approach the demo just as I would almost any other painting day. Follow my heart. Find a painting. It was slightly off the beaten path.

The group that accompanied me were terrific. They watched "Garden Lion" take shape, learned why I chose the subject, asked questions, cared about the answers. One man there commented that it has to take a great deal of courage to stand there and paint. It becomes easier and easier through the
My Booth at Rittenhouse Square. Every painting had an admirer.
kindness of strangers, regularity of practice and sprinkling of intended results realized. We weren't born courageous but can opt to adopt the trait.

Words escape me. I'm humbled in a million ways today.

"Italian Vines," oil, 8"h x 10"w, ©Jill Banks 2014 found a new home, too.
Thanks for reading!


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See the Events page for more info/updates

May 17-June 26:  Wayne Plein Air Wayne and Philadelphia, PA. Juried as one of 30 artists nationwide to paint the area. Exhibit continues through June 26 at the Wayne Art Center
June 18-21: VA Beach Boardwalk Art Show, Virginia Beach, VA. Visit my booth right on the boardwalk.
June 29-July 5: Telluride Plein Air, Telluride, CO.  Juried as one of 32 artists who will spend the week painting this very cool town lined with Victorian houses, bustling street against a gorgeous mountainous backdrop.
July 11-12: Wickford Art Festival, Wickford, RI
July 18-19: Westport Fine Arts Festival, Westport, CT
August 8-9: Mystic Seaport Outdoor Art Festival, Mystic, CT
September 20 & 21: Alexandria King Street Festival, Alexandria, VA
December 3-6: One Of A Kind Show & Sale, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL


Pat Neuman said...

Jill, Wonderful post! It was a fantastic show on Rittenhouse Square. I am so glad your calendar post led me there. Love the lion. Sorry we missed the demonstration (The Phillies called.)

Pat and Reed

Donna Christenson said...

Really enjoyed reading your insights and experiences. You have inspired me ...I'm going to take photos of some of my art collection, each piece hanging in the "perfect" spot for it, and send them to the artists who created them (including Bob Gilbert, who I think you know), in the hope that they share your appreciation for knowing where we have placed the work and how much we enjoy the artists' creative efforts.

All the best to you,