Showing posts with label Art Gallery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art Gallery. Show all posts

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Be Surprised

A Tale of Love, Mixed Media, 34 x 24 x 4 inches

I like to be surprised by my creations. That is, to be so involved while creating, I “disappear” in the work.  When I re-emerge to take a look, I might be amazed.

I can be astonished by other peoples reactions as well. This happened recently. I have a new art gallery in a mall off the main plaza in Santa Fe. It has big windows so pedestrians can see inside and view the art hanging directly in front of them. When I first opened, I hung my new work of mixed-media pieces in front of the windows. I hoped that they would make an impression. Later, friends came by and suggested I put my better known landscape paintings in the windows. I obliged. 

After I made the change, a fellow came in and introduced himself as a partner in a business down the hall. “I am glad you made the change,” he said. “There was a piece in the window that was creepy. Where is it?” Then he walked to the backside of the panels and said, “Here it is! Ugh This really creeps me out!” His skin crawled as he pointed to the dolls. I had to laugh, because it never was “creepy” to me.  (I am laughing to myself now, as I write, just recalling this.) 
The next day a woman came in and went right to the same piece and spent considerable time studying and admiring it. 

So why the different reactions?

I claim a piece a success in as much as it gets strong reactions. Weak or badly done art does not warrant reactions worth talking about.

Four Hangups, oil on linen, 28 x 30 inches,
Some years ago I made a series of paintings called HangUps. They always elicited responses—some highly positive and some negative, but always a reaction. One of those paintings is now in a museum in France. 

VanGogh All Hung Up, oil on linen, 22 x 24 inches,
In the collection of Foundation Van Gogh, Arles, France

And that is art.
Diana's Song, Oil on canvas, 24 x 20 inches

For more on the mixed-media pieces, see my previous post: Walk A New Path

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Opening And Closing Of A Door

The Steven Boone Gallery is doing very well—and closing! In fact, today is the last day the doors will be open for art lovers to browse and buy a piece of art from off the gallery walls. My wife is happier than I am about the change. She sees it as liberation from a business that has struggled and used valuable resources. The street, Canyon Road, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has 100 art galleries, and many find that they cannot make enough money in a thoroughly saturated market. Winter months are especially grueling and exorbitant rents must be paid regardless if there are only twenty curious people that come in the entire week. 

The business requires vast hours of attention, and now that it is closing, she says, “We have more time for just the two of us, together.” 

I am philosophical about the investment, and believe years of good will come from the effort. Seeds have been sown and some are not finished bearing fruit.

Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during a moment.   Carl Sandburg 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Art For The Heart

An older couple came into The Steven Boone Gallery, browsing with pleasure the rooms full of art. They eventually focused on sunset paintings and mentioned that they were newly arrived in Santa Fe and were just beginning to visit art galleries. The two were dressed casually, and the gentleman seemed about ten years older than the woman—maybe in his early seventies. They left, and when they did not come back that day, I forgot about them.

Two days later, just before noon, the two arrived back, and I exclaimed, “Happy to see you again!” The man replied, “We came back because of you.” They browsed slowly through the gallery while I stayed near them, assisting, but keeping a respectful distance so that they could focus on the art. They eventually agreed between themselves what two pieces they liked best, and purchased them. One painting was a buoyant group of open-faced sunflowers, and the other was a sunset with bright colors at the horizon and an old dirt road entering the picture from the foreground and heading toward the distance.

I asked the man his occupation and he replied that he is a cardiologist. The two collect art, and have visited major museums around the world. I asked if he had been to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and he said, yes, and that he studied Van Gogh's life from a medical perspective too. While writing a check, the woman looked into my eyes and said they enjoyed, “Meeting the artist. “ I replied that it is also my pleasure to meet the people who buy my art, because my paintings are like children and it is good to know where my children go to live the rest of their days.

I thought later, that the man seemed to have a full heart when he was with me . . . and the art contributed to his happiness. How appropriate that he is a heart specialist then . . . and it made me think of slogan: Art For The Heart.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Appreciate The Positive

After three years, I am closing my art gallery at the end of this coming June. Simply put, it is time to get out from under the responsibilities to take a breath of freedom that continually calls me. After my trip around the world in 2008, I often have joked that it ruined me. But there is some truth in it for the feeling of élan, adventure, and liberty stay alive and press on my heart with longing.

It has been wonderful gaining so many new collectors and having grand art openings. I appreciate the positive, and feel relieved too that the huge financial obligations are ending.

Recently, sales have been occurring outside the gallery that make me think I will do as well or better on my own. I get orders from my online presence, and recently drove to Tulsa, Oklahoma for an artfest where six paintings sold, along with many prints. Very profitable without the vast overhead. And this satisfied some of my wanderlust too.

Heidi Of The Mountains encouraged the change, and hopefully, this September we will be able to go forth together to Europe.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Trading Books

Gondolas, Venice, Italy
These days are among the slowest of the year for tourist traffic on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the famed art avenue with more than 100 galleries. The weather is cold, and with far fewer world-class events scheduled in the city than in summer, sometimes only a handful of people browse the shops. My wife and I share duties tending our gallery—The Steven Boone Gallery.  It is almost a joke when we call each other and realize that not one person has visited. And then, there are days when of the four people who appear, two are trying to sell something or asking for donations.
Masai boys, Serengeti, Tanzania

The other day was like that. An older man came in, looked around cursorily, and asked about a large photo on my wall. I said it was taken in Kashmir, India. “I bet you do not have many people who see that and who have actually been there—like me!” We began talking and he took a card out of his pocket to hand to me. It promoted a book he had written  a few years back,
about his journey around the world in 1968. I told him that I had gone around the world in 2008, forty years after him,  and had lived in 19 countries. “I visited 27 countries,” he said. I responded, “Wow, you must have been moving fast.”

We ended up trading books. I gave him a signed copy of my award winning book, A Heart Traced In Sand, about the struggle of my daughter Naomi, who died of cancer at the age of nineteen. He promised to send me his book about his travel adventures around the world in 1968.

Dal Lake, Kashmir

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thank God For Beauty

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish Blessing

Lately, I have been waking up from sleep with some anxiety, since my gallery is floundering under the poor economy. Especially difficult is that during the last four months, a large investment was made preparing for and installing a critically popular and well attended show of portraits by twenty-five artists, called HEADS UP—but the sales have been negligent. So I am scrambling to survive.

This morning, I arrived at my gallery to open, and noticed across the street that a garden is in bloom. I took my camera and walked over to take pictures. Right on cue, a beautiful butterfly landed on a flower and opened it’s wings to share with me it’s beauty before it fluttered off, not a care in the world. 

Thank God for beauty.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

An Emotional Link

Leo Tolstoy (September 9, 1828 – November 20, 1910) thought that art must create an emotional link between the artist and audience. Usually, an artist creates his art, then it goes forth into the world to be appreciated—or not. Most often, connoisseurs act as middlemen, promoting the creation to the public, and if they sell the art, they make a profit. Usually, the artist works alone and never meets the purchaser of his work.

Now that I own The Steven Boone Gallery, I have the pleasure of meeting the people that appreciate and buy my art. It is mutual happiness. The collector is choosing my work to include in the intimacy of their home surroundings, so they are glad to meet me and become friends, and I am pleased to get know those who value my work and are willing to purchase it.

Previously, I made paintings, and then delivered them to galleries for exhibition. Most often, when a work sold, I only heard about it and later received payment. I could only imagine the collector and their prompting. Now, I shake hands and look into the smiling faces of people, and then take time to converse and become intimate with them. It is a fuller experience, so that we can enjoy and remember each other. When the buyers take my art into their home they have a richer association and knowledge of it’s origin after having met the creator. The value for me is that when I make my art, I put all my self into the creation, and letting go of it is bittersweet. Knowing firsthand where it is going to be cared for, and seeing the depth of feeling and intellectual satisfaction that it gives is rewarding for me.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Passion and Inspiration

Your time is limited; so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition—they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.   Steve Jobs (born February 24, 1955)

Starting my own gallery without forethought during these troubled economic times might seem to many as unwise. Yet I have never been averse to taking risk. Just being an artist is risky, since there is so much uncertainty regarding money. But artists live by passion and inspiration—that is their food, not materiality.

My gallery is like a newborn horse that is able to stand, but wobbly on its feet. I have a full-time staff and we are working to put our hopes and dreams together as a team. We will progress and not give up. For me, the emotions might be a little higher because the “product” is me, . . . my creations.

If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.   Ray Bradbury   (born August 22, 1920)

The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it. 
- Debbi Fields (born September 18, 1956), founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies

This week I managed to build a website for the Steven Boone Gallery, so take a look!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

A Leap Of Faith

I have taken a leap of faith and opened my own art gallery. I like surprises and sometimes, surprise myself. Only one week ago, Heidi of the Mountains and I were making the rounds of gallery openings as we do on Friday evenings. We passed a storefront where a gallery has existed for years, and I noticed it empty, with a “for rent” sign on the window. Intrigued, I jotted down the phone number. After visiting a couple more gallery openings, out of curiosity, I called the number and heard a recorded message, then left my phone number with my inquiry. By the next evening, I had met the owner, visited the space, meditated on the possibility, and confirmed my intention to sign a lease to rent. All by way of surprise.

Everyone around me has been surprised as well. The owner of the gallery where I formerly showed my work was shocked when I told him. At first he offered me wishes of success, but by the time I had taken all my art out, he was seething mad. He owes me money too, and plans not to give it to me.

I have been a gallery owner in the past, so I already had a sign to hang outside. I have a credit card terminal, and nice oriental rugs that I bought in Kashmir. In one day, I hung the gallery, and the lights were already in place. Heidi of the Mountains has quit her job of fifteen years, and has come to work for me. I have hired an expert salesman I have known for years. The first day open we sold a painting—and I did not have a receipt book! The stock market had dropped 250 points and on the third day dropped another 500. That was the day we sold another painting, and despite my concern of economic woes, the clients were happily oblivious.

I am relieved to be out of my former gallery and now able to hang the full range of my work. People that visit can see a broad spectrum of my creative impulse, including paintings, drawings, photography, mixed media, and even publishing.

I do not have a gallery website yet, but click to view the Steven Boone art website.