Thursday, September 04, 2014

About my collection

As an artist I have collected art, now and then, so I began to think about collection. What does my collection say about me? Who’s art is in my collection? I remember looking through local critic and photographer J. R. Compton’s page of his art collection, I think it says a lot about his personal tastes and his personality. So I thought I would bare my soul and give you a glimpse of my own collection of art.

Being an artist, I sometime manage to convince other artists to trade with me. My first trade for an art piece was with C. David Jones. He is an artist out of Bowling Green, Kentucky. My friend had had him as a painting instructor at Western Kentucky University, where I too got my undergraduate degree. Later, when I ran a gallery in Dallas for a short while, I gave C. David Jones a show and he traded me one of my early signature paintings for large narrative piece, which depicts the old opera house of Bowling Green, Kentucky. The piece uses a lot of earth tones and the scene implies a love triangle.

While at the University of North Texas, Michael Tole, who shows with Conduit, traded me two prints he made during his printmaking class for one of my digital mono-prints. These two prints are of Fabergé eggs, yet stripped of much of the colors. Jenny Leigh Jones graduated a year before me and traded me her very personal painting of a tea set and reclining lawn chair for a drawing. My four year old girl insisted on displaying it in her room. UNT alumni, Lori Giesler just gave me a few pieces. One of her paintings hang in my bedroom next to Sarah Williams’ painting of a dark rural downtown street, which I traded Williams for a large drawing. Giesler’s image looks like a movie still image with a faded depiction of Rich Uncle Pennybags from Monopoly Game run across the canvas. Another alumi, Mariko Frost’s painting is located over my bed. The moment I saw the piece in her studio, I fell in love with the rich mix of oils. The painting has an exaggerated one point perspective in a subway tunnel. Two figures are in an embrace on the far right side. A ghost image of a speeding train streaks by the figures. Sebastien Boncy was also an alumni from UNT, but in the photography department, yet he took a painting class with me. Near the end of our MFA, we trades art pieces. He gave me a gorgeous print of a faded comic book bag.  
I spent a few years in Waco and I meet a several artists, but only Iris Lee traded me a piece. I know it must have been extremely hard for Lee to trade me her drawing of a jaguar, but my son needed the powerful animal to nurture his imagination and also to give him strength. I too feel awe inspiring by its presence every time I enter my son’s room. But I know what you must be thinking, “it must be nice to get a collection of art with just trading art, but I have to pay for mine.” Well, back before I had children and before I spent a lot on grad school, I had some money to buy art. On a trip to Santa Fe, my wife and I bought a Peter Voshefski ink and gesso on panel. The drawing was made in 2005 and titled “a map of the forest.” It was my first purchase of an art piece by an artist I never meet, I knew little about him, but I had to have the work and I was willing to pay for it.   

In 2005-06 I ran an art gallery called Local Color Gallery on the top floor of Southside on Lamar. I acquired from the first show prints by Vivan Spraberry and Sandra Lords. These works were photograph prints were VanDyke Brown and Blue-Van-Dyke  In November of 2005, I bought a piece by Brenda McKinney. An abstract painting that looked like a dramatic sky scene with expressive clouds. Elizabeth Owens also showed at the gallery and later gave my wife and I a present of two paintings that related to our relationship. Joe N. Gamblin never showed at the gallery, but also gave my wife an I a portrait of us.

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