Writing

The Philosophy Behind the Subscription Project:

Many artists enjoy the challenge of deadlines, working in series, and working in volumes. These structures are a source of inspiration, motivation, education and satisfaction. Artists benefit from these practices. Collectors benefit as well. Here’s how it happens.

Colorful abstract contemporary watercolor drawing/painting by Lee Puffer
Watercolor on paper, by Lee Puffer, 2018

About Deadlines.

A deadline forces an artist to commit to a way of working. Decisions must be made. The sense of urgency that comes from a looming deadline allows artists to override their internal sensor, to act without over-thinking. This creates work that feels fresher and has a sense of immediacy. For those artists who have a tendency to over-work a piece, or second-guess themselves, working under deadline, even a self-imposed one, can be the key to loosening up. This is a refreshing change for the artist, and can lead to the creation of new directions and lead to new bodies of work

Working in volumes.

There is a sense of preciousness that happens when an artist makes only one artwork. While repeating oneself exactly is not suggested, making a volume of work is highly recommended. When making many pieces, the artist gets to work through ideas more quickly, and each individual piece of art becomes less belabored, less fastidious and less affected. Creativity is ignited when artists work in multiples, sets and editions. While volume is good, it is important to predetermine the number of pieces in the edition. With a limited volume in a series, the artist’s focus is ensured, and the series retains its rarity and value for the collector. A preset number of pieces are produced in each edition. Once an edition is complete, it is never duplicated.

Working in Series.

Colorful watercolor painting/drawing contemporary abstract art.
Watercolor on paper, by Lee Puffer, 2018

As series is a set of related artwork, made in sequence and changing as it develops. Usually there is a set of given parameters in a series. An artist may choose a media, a technique and a distinct point of view as a jumping-off point. While parameters can seem limiting, in reality they can be very liberating. As an artist works in series, within a set of parameters, every possible permutation can be explored, leading to new discoveries. What is discovered in the process can lead to breakthroughs in the artist’s work. The series itself becomes a body of work that is cohesive, yet varied.

Small works.

Smaller scale artworks, utilizing less expensive materials, are often used as studies or warm-ups for large-scale, more labor intensive work. These could be drawings, prints, collages, and any other smaller works on paper. These studies or drawings are artworks in and of themselves though, even if they were created as preliminary or preparatory sketches. These works are highly collectable. Some become even more sought-after than more monumental pieces. Drawings, prints and other works on paper are often less expensive than paintings on canvas or works of sculpture, making them more accessible to collectors.

Begin a collection. Learn what you love.

colorful abstract painting by Lee Puffer, contemporary artist
Watercolor on paper, by Lee Puffer, 2018

Original artworks enliven and add interest and uniqueness to any home. Many people love art, but have no idea how to begin collecting, or what art to choose. For beginning collectors, the process of learning to recognize and trust their own taste can be an enormous challenge. Research is key, but where to begin? Research can take the form of visiting art galleries and fairs, studying art history, and reading books and magazines. Taking a class in drawing, painting or ceramics can also help collectors understand their own tastes and preferences. Asking a consultant, gallerist or curator for help can feel intimidating and overwhelming. For collectors, buying their first piece of art can be fun, but stressful. Buying drawings, prints or other small works is a great way to test the waters. Smaller works or editions by living artists are less expensive than larger pieces by the same artists. The relatively minor financial investment made is worth the risk. If a collector grows to love their initial purchase from a particular artist, the collector is more likely to want another, often larger and more expensive, work from that same artists later on. In a reciprocal relationship, collectors become personally invested in the careers and success of the artists they collect, and artists make special or important works available to their more loyal collectors first.

By all means collector should buy the work they love by artists they admire, but tastes can change and develop as a collector matures. If the collector finds they no longer love an artwork they purchased, it can be donated or sold without much bitterness because the initial investment in the smaller work was relatively low. Often the secondary market for small such that the initial investment can be recouped. Take a chance and buy some art!

colorful abstract painting by Lee Puffer, contemporary artist
Watercolor on paper, by Lee Puffer 2018

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