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Selling Originals, And Why

Original Artworks – What’s the big deal? 

Have you ever seen an original Van Gogh? Or a Picasso? Been so close to a famous painter’s work that you could see the brushstrokes he or she used? Or the fine details included in a pen and ink drawing that make the work that much more impressive? 

Take Van Gogh, for example. There is a real rhythm, a flow, movement to his paintings. I just watched the movie At Eternity’s Gate, with Willem Dafoe, which I thought probably correctly portrayed how Van Gogh was fully immersed in the beauty of the world before him. How he became part of it. 

How sunsets and color and the light on trees affected and overwhelmed him, and how he sought out landscapes to portray by painting outside (note: I can relate to this). An original painting would surely convey this, too. Even better than a print.

What I wouldn’t give to visit the museum in Holland.

Someday. 

Why My Originals?

When I showed my artwork at J & S Coffee in November, the owner, Steve Creamer, told me twice, “Your drawings belong in a gallery, John.” Those were giclee prints–high-quality, ink prints that look amazing framed and will last a lifetime. 

After some thought, I agreed it made sense to pursue that idea. So I spoke to my friend, Merzhad Alison who owns Prairie Hills Art Gallery. He told me he was moving the gallery into a new space and would love to show my stuff. (Hooray!)

But he wanted the originals. 

Gulp.  

Originals – The Real Deal

I often drew those pieces in the woods of eastern Kansas, my dogs in tow. Not with the darkest ink or best paper, and with plenty of dirt and muck around.  

Surely no one would want an original. 

Also…

They are pretty special to me. As any artist can tell you, most creations come with a story–a memory of the day(s) it was drawn or painted or sculpted, why he or she chose the subject, and the feelings that go along with the piece.

So parting with them sometimes feels like parting with old friends.

But Merzhad persisted. 

A Higher Value

He showed me that the originals have a beauty and uniqueness of their own. They are one-of-a-kind and therefore have a value that, though in perfect condition, the prints do not. 

As for my old friends, I decided that as long as I had a print of the drawings myself, I could part with the original drawings. 

Don’t worry…

The gallery will also have info on how to buy prints, in case anyone would prefer that option. (Or you can always order them on my site.) Originals, as such, are worth more, and the price reflects that value. For me it would be hard to choose–I like both. 🙂 

And my books will be in stock, as well. Bonus!

Gallery Details

Prairie Hills Art Gallery exhibits original paintings of other local artists, including Merzhad’s own colorful Kansas landscapes, and the work of local treasure Robert Sudlow. Sudlow’s paintings wonderfully capture the essence of the Flint Hills and eastern Kansas. (I especially like his subdued snow scenes.)

Speaking of seeing original artwork, one Sudlow painting I particularly like is directly across from my work in the gallery. 

So come on by!

I hope you will stop by the gallery and take a look. I don’t expect the experience to rival seeing an original Van Gogh, but it might bring delight to those who are interested in the process, or who value the history each piece has. 

To get your own free downloadable print of my artwork, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page. 

To purchase Leafensong: First Telling, the book my illustrations appear in, click here. 

To read an article on KCUR’s site about how my book came to be written, click here

1 Comment

  1. Dawn Trent says:

    John, having your work exhibited in downtown Lawrence is a really big deal! How exciting! You are now the only artist I know who has an exhibit. (We don’t happen to know a lot of artists, I guess.)
    The Sudlow work I have seen speaks to me also. If I recall correctly, his work is often very KANSAS. I like that a lot.
    Hopefully we can get by to see the works. Thanks for letting us know! “Hello” to all! Dawn Trent

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